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^^^^ Hl< 

istian Helmreich 

Religion at Bowdoin College: 
A History 

Ernst Christian Helmreich 

Thomas Brackett Reed Professor of 
History and Political Science Emeritus 

Bowdoin College 

Brunswick, Maine 

Cover photograph by Stephen E. Merrill 

Bowdoin College Archives, Special Collections 

Printed by J. S. McCarthy Co., Inc., Augusta, Maine 

ISBN: 0-916606-03-1 

Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 81-71331 

Copyright 1982, the President and Trustees of Bowdoin College 

All rights reserved 

To Bowdoin Students 
Past and Present 

"The history of man is inseparable from the history of religion." 

Justice Black in Engel v. Vitale 

Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2012 with funding from 

LYRASIS Members and Sloan Foundation 


Foreword vii 

Preface ix 

Chapter I 

The Founding of the College 1 

Chapter II 

The College Under Way 9 

Chapter III 

The College and the First Parish 1 9 

Chapter IV 

College Regulations and Their Enforcement 35 

Chapter V 

Religious Societies 49 

Chapter VI 

The Building of the New Chapel 63 

Chapter VII 

Endowments and the Issue of Denominationalism 89 

Chapter VIII 

Religious Life at the College, 1867-1917 107 

Chapter IX 

The Sills Era 131 

Chapter X 

The Recent Decades 153 

Illustrations following page 88 

Notes . 169 

Bibliography 201 

Index 207 


After a distinguished career of over forty years as a Bowdoin teacher and 
scholar, Professor Helmreich has made yet another important contribution 
to history with this study of religion at Bowdoin College. In it, he teaches 
us much that we did not know about the lives and concerns of the men 
and, recently, the women who, for nearly 200 years, have assumed the 
responsibility for guiding this college. From the founding of the institution 
to the present, religion has been a concern of Bowdoin presidents and of 
many members of the student body, faculty, and the Governing Boards. 
More difficult to trace, but clearly discernible here, is the story of how 
these people perceived religion, how they felt religion should or should not 
be realized at the College, and how their views changed over the years. 

This would not be a true account of men and women as we know them 
if, in confronting religious issues, they were not serious, compelling, and 
dedicated — and even, at times, puzzled and perhaps absurd. So are they 
revealed in the events chronicled here. This is, I believe, as much a portrait 
of human nature as it is a history of a college addressing itself to religion in 
the chapel program, in the curriculum, and in the daily lives of its 

At this time when there is a renewed interest in religion on the campus 
and in the nation, it is well to be reminded of our past, of how we have 
fared in our efforts to give expression to religious values in our public .and 
private lives. We are, therefore, in debt to Professor Helmreich for 
devoting a part of his retirement to playing once more the teacher and the 
historian and for playing those important roles with such distinction. 

A. LeRoy Greason 

President of Bowdoin College 

November 1981 



Having completed my volume on The German Churches Under Hitler: 
Background, Struggle, and Epilogue (Detroit, 1979), I wanted a problem 
to work on where all the primary sources were at hand. It occurred to me 
that a study of religion at Bowdoin was such a topic. The subject had the 
fascination of being an aspect of the history of the College where major 
changes had taken place, where one epoch had ended and another had 
begun. I knew much about what had happened in respect to religion at the 
College since I came to Bowdoin in 1931 ; I knew very little about what had 
gone on before. While the various histories of the College and of its leaders 
touched on religion at Bowdoin, I soon discovered that there was much 
more to be learned about it. What was the status of religion at Bowdoin 
when the College opened its doors in 1802, and how, why, and when were 
changes made that have led to its present status on campus? It took pages 
to deal with religious matters in the first printed by-laws of the College; to- 
day there is one sentence forbidding the imposition of any creedal tests in 
the choice of officers and faculty or the admission of students. 

Practically all historical writing about Bowdoin has been done 
without footnotes, and I early decided to follow a different practice. 
Readers have a right to know where the material was found and how com- 
plete it is. Such references will also be of help to others in carrying on 
research on subjects not directly connected with Bowdoin. What happened 
at the College occurred at other institutions as well; Bowdoin did not stand 
apart but was in the mainstream of collegiate education in the United 

After completing a book an author always has many people to thank. 
The staffs of the Hawthorne- Longfellow Library, of the Business Office, 
and of the Registrar's Office invariably have been helpful. It is not out of 
ingratitude that I do not name them personally. I must, however, single 
out Mrs. Mary H. Hughes and Dianne M. Gutscher of Special Collections 
at the library for particular thanks. They have been tireless in helping me 
find my way through the rich source material which is available. I also wish 
to thank President Enteman for his interest during the early stages of this 
project, and especially President Greason, who read the manuscript and 


arranged for the necessary funds for its publication. I trust these funds will 
be repaid, probably very gradually, as the book is sold. At the College 
Editor's Office, Peter H. Vaughn and Susan L. Ransom have been most 
cooperative in seeing the volume through the press. As always, most thanks 
are due to my wife, Louise, who has helped with all the work and editing 
which goes into preparing a manuscript and getting it into print. 

Ernst C. Helmreich 

Bowdoin College 
Brunswick, Maine 
August 1981 


The Founding of the College 

Bowdoin College was founded in an age of religious indifference. The 
religious excitement of the mid-eighteenth century, aroused by the revival- 
istic preaching of the Great Awakening, had been dissipated by the disrup- 
tions of the Revolutionary War. The deism heralded by the leaders of the 
Enlightenment had challenged old religious orthodox views. Skepticism 
was rife and church attendance at a low ebb. 1 

The settlements on the frontier brought new problems for the 
churches, and the District of Maine was part of the frontier of that day. It 
was sparsely settled, the number of organized churches small. In 1784 
there were only thirty-one settled Congregational and Presbyterian 
ministers in the district. There was a well-established German Lutheran 
church at Waldoboro, but no Catholic churches, although there were a 
few Catholic mission stations with their small number of Indian converts. 
Six Quaker societies existed with probably around a thousand members. 
Baptists had made their appearance at Kittery in 1681, yet it was not until 
1767 that they founded their first church. By 1784 there were six 
Calvinistic Baptist societies in the district, as well as a number of Free Will 
Baptist churches. This split among the Baptists, like the growing move- 
ment towards Unitarianism in the Congregational societies, added to the 
religious diversity in Maine, a diversity enhanced in the last decade of the 
century by the preaching of Methodist circuit riders. 2 In spite of the en- 
croachments of these other religious groups, Congregationalism remained 
dominant. The "establishment," to borrow a modern term, was Congrega- 
tionalist, and it was these leaders who initiated and carried out the found- 
ing of Bowdoin College. 

The first evidence we have of an interest in establishing a college in 
the District of Maine is an act submitted to the General Court of the Com- 
monwealth of Massachusetts by a representative from Lincoln County in 
1787. The preamble stated: 

Whereas the surest and most durable foundation of true and-rational 
liberty is best promoted and secured by a cultivation of the means of 
virtue and knowledge, and a general diffusion of them among the 

2 Religion at Bowdoin College: A History 

great body of the people; and by making these means easily 
attainable, especially by the poorer classes in the community. And 
whereas these important purposes are best answered, by seminaries 
for literature being erected, and adequately endowed and supported 
in various parts of the state, upon the broadest basis of liberal prin- 
ciples and equally open to people of every class and denomination for 
the purposes of education. 

To this end a college, holding the name of Winthrop, honoring a family 
long prominent in the affairs of the commonwealth, was to be established. 
The act was in line with the prevailing rational philosophy of the period. 
Little is said about religion in the whole document, except that the college 
should be non-denominational and that the ministers of the seven next ad- 
joining towns — wherever the college should be located — should be 
members of the Board of Overseers in a college government modelled on 
that of Harvard College. It called upon "the liberal man, the lovers of 
science, the friends of religion and the equal liberty of the whole human 
race with patriots of every class and description" to make donations to sup- 
plement the land grants anticipated from the state to get the college 
underway. 3 

Nothing came of this act, but the next year steps were undertaken 
which led directly to the founding of Bowdoin. On May 20, 1788, the 
Cumberland Association of Ministers, consisting of eight Congregational 
ministers, was established. 4 In their third meeting, held on November 
fourth of that year, they voted: "To petition the General Court (Mass.) for 
the establishment of a college and endowment of the same in the County of 
Cumberland." 5 The petition was immediately drafted and signed by Tho. 
Browne, moderator, and Samuel Deane, clerk, "in the name and by the 
desire of the association," and dated Falmouth, Nov. 5, 1788. At about the 
same time the justices of the Court of General Sessions of the Peace for the 
County of Cumberland drew up a like petition. This was not dated, and so 
it is impossible to determine which petition was drawn up first or if there 
was any negotiation between the two groups of petitioners. The petitions 
were taken in charge by Judge Josiah Thacher of Gorham, then a senator 
from Cumberland, and both petitions were received in the Senate and 
House on November twenty-second. 6 

The two petitions are similar in form and brevity, but in content there 
are some interesting differences. The petition of the Cumberland Associa- 
tion of Ministers speaks of the members being mostly sons of Harvard and 
naturally interested in having a similar institution in the eastern half of the 
state, so that their sons might not be excluded from "obtaining a liberal 
education" because of the great expense of sending them to Cambridge. 
Nothing is said about religion or its furtherance; they petition simply for 
the establishment of a college "to promote the interests of learning" and 

The Founding of the College 3 

that it be endowed with considerable portions of the unlocated lands of the 
commonwealth. The petition of the justices of the Court of General Ses- 
sions, on the other hand, starts out by quoting from the constitution of the 

That the encouragement of Arts and Sciences and all good 
Literature tend to the Honor of God, the advantages of the Christian 
Religion, and the great Benefit of this and the other United States of 
America — That Wisdom and Knowledge as well as Virtue diffused 
generally among the People is necessary for the presentation of their 
Rights and Liberties — That these depend on spreading the oppor- 
tunities and advantages of education in the various parts of the 
Country and among the different orders of the People — And that it 
shall be the Duty of the Legislators and Magistrates in all future 
Periods of this Commonwealth to cherish the Interests of Literature 
and the Sciences. 

The justices considered it impossible to make a stronger statement on the 
subject of education and the importance of wisdom, knowledge, and vir- 
tue, than these words contained in the state constitution itself, so they con- 
fined themselves simply to petitioning for the incorporation of a college in 
some convenient place in Cumberland County and that it be endowed with 
unlocated land. 7 

The General Court in Boston moved slowly, and it was not until 
February 1790 that the petitioners were granted leave to bring in a bill. 
This was done the following January, and it was promptly passed in the 
Senate, but failed in the House, largely because Gorham had been 
designated as the site of the college. Citizens of Freeport, Yarmouth, 
Portland, and Brunswick now undertook to raise subscriptions to get the 
college located in their respective towns. This did not facilitate matters. 
Agreement between the two houses of the legislature could not be reached 
in 1791 or in the summer session of 1792, mainly because they could not 
concur on the location of the college. 8 

During the winter session of 1792-1793, it occurred to some interested 
individuals, among them Alfred Johnson of Freeport, to make an effort to 
obtain a patron for the college. He obtained an introduction to James 
Bowdoin, the son of the famed Revolutionary Governor of Massachusetts, 
and discussed with him the possibility of naming the sought-for college in 
Maine after his father. James Bowdoin took to the suggestion and ex- 
pressed his willingness to help the college as much as he was able. He cau- 
tioned that his father's name not be given to the college in the act but left 
to the Boards for later decision, "as he thought such was Gov. Hancock's 
antipathy to his father, that he would never approve of an act for a college 
with his father's name given to it, and related some curious anecdotes to 
confirm his suspicions." 9 Mr. Johnson, however, thought that Governor 

4 Religion at Bowdoin College: A History 

Hancock would not be influenced by such considerations, "and thinking it 
best to make sure of the patronage and not subject the name to future 
dispute, caused the name of Bowdoin to be inserted in the Bill." The bill 
was passed by both houses in 1793, but Governor Hancock, for what 
reasons is not certain, refused to sign it. There was still controversy over 
where the college was to be located, and this was not definitely stated in the 
measure. In February and June of 1 794 the bill was again up for considera- 
tion, and the committee in charge sought the opinion of each member of 
the General Court from the District of Maine. They found that a large 
majority favored Brunswick. Most of the representatives were from east of 
the Androscoggin River and naturally wished to get the college as near to 
their constituents as possible. On the other hand, they did not feel it right 
to move it out of Cumberland County, as the petitions that had initiated 
the movement for a college had originated there. The charter of the col- 
lege was finally passed on June 24, 1794, and received the signature of 
Governor Samuel Adams. It definitely settled two matters which had 
caused much controversy and delay— the name was to be Bowdoin, and 
the location was to be Brunswick. 

Three days later, on June 27, 1794, James Bowdoin wrote a letter to 
the Overseers on the purpose of the new college: 

The General Court having established a public Seminary of Learn- 
ing, in the District of Maine, for the purpose of diffusing literature 
and knowledge, that the seeds of Science, deeply sown in the natural 
Genius of its Inhabitants, will soon be seen to blossom, to fructify and 
contribute to the general stock of scientific information, in the 
United States. 10 

It is an interesting statement in respect to the nature and character of the 
college to be established. It is to be a public institution, and there is no 
reference to religion. He went on to say "that the honourable Testimonial 
of respect paid in the Establishment of the Name, the Character, the 
Talents, and Virtues of my late Father, must attach me in a peculiar 
Degree to an Institution, in the success of which I feel myself deeply 
interested." He promised that "Bowdoin College shall receive the public 
aid of my Endeavors, to promote its Usefulness, Interest and Welfare" and 
as a first step to that design he offered to the college one thousand dollars 
in specie and a thousand acres of land in the town of Bowdoin. The college 
now had not only a charter, but also a generous patron. 

The charter as passed has no customary flowery preamble indicating 
purposes of the act, but simply states, in Section 1, that a college will be 
established "for the purpose of educating youth" and that it will be under 
the "government and regulation of two certain bodies, politic and cor- 
porate " n These were to be the Trustees, who were given primary 

responsibility in directing the institution. Their actions — in line with the 

The Founding of the College 5 

then dominant theory of checks and balances — had to be approved by a 
Board of Overseers. To get the college started, the charter specifically 
named the first Board of Trustees, consisting of six clergy and five laymen, 
and a Board of Overseers, consisting of fourteen clergy and twenty-eight 
laymen. Many of the latter were named because of their official station, 
and approximately a third of the members never attended a meeting. 12 
There is no mention in the charter of a desire to provide for an educated 
ministry, to christianize the Indians, or to spread the gospel, matters which 
were mentioned in the founding documents of so many early colleges. 13 
The closest the Bowdoin charter comes to such a statement is in Section 6, 
where in regard to appropriations it provides: 

That the clear rents, issues and profits of all the estate, real and per- 
sonal, of which the said corporation shall be seized or possessed, shall 
be appropriated to the endowment of the said College, in such man- 
ner as shall most effectually promote virtue and piety and the 
knowledge of such of the languages and of the useful and liberal arts 
and sciences, as shall hereafter be directed, from time to time, by the 
said corporation. 

In respect to the five townships of land of six square miles each which were 
granted by the commonwealth as an endowment to the college, the 
Trustees were obligated to reserve "in each township three lots of three 
hundred and twenty acres each, for the following uses, viz. one lot for the 
first settled Minister — one lot for the use of the Ministry— and one lot for 
the use of schools in each of said townships" (Section 17). This was a 
customary restriction whenever grants were made of public lands. The 
Boards were also restricted to granting only bachelor and master of arts 
degrees until January 1, 1810. Why this provision was inserted in the 
charter is uncertain, but it is generally thought to have been designed to 
prevent the immediate creation of numerous doctors of divinity. 14 

On establishment, the College was clearly not directly concerned with 
religion, let alone being connected with any denomination. It was not 
Puritan or Church of England, not Congregational or Baptist. As Bow- 
doin's President Sills was to observe many years later: "It is interesting to 
note that Bowdoin began, not as a school or seminary or theological in- 
stitution, but it began as a college, a college devoted to the study of the 
languages, then Latin and Greek, and of the useful arts and sciences." 15 
But if the College was non-sectarian in origin, it was never meant that it 
should be cut off from religion or its influences. As pointed out above, it 
was among other things to "promote virtue and piety." It is impossible to 
define exactly what is covered by these words. Both are general terms and 
at times have had various meanings and connotations. Virtue certainly did 
not exclude religion, for in the eighteenth century religion was generally 
considered to be the very foundation of this quality and an integral part of 

6 Religion at Bowdoin College: A History 

it. Jonathan Edwards, the great American preacher and philosopher, held 
in his Dissertation on the Nature of True Virtue that "the principle of vir- 
tue... is identical with the principle of religion." 16 No philosopher was bet- 
ter known or held in more esteem in colonial America than John Locke. In 
his essay "Some Thoughts Concerning Education," Locke wrote that a 
gentleman in desiring an education for his son should consider "Virtue, 
Wisdom, Breeding, and Learning." And of these four he noted: 

I place Vertue as the first and most necessary of those En- 
dowments, that belong to Man or a Gentleman as absolutely 
requisite to make him valued or beloved by others, acceptable or 
tolerable to himself. Without that I think, he will be happy neither in 
this, nor the other World. 

As to the Foundation of this, [i.e. virtue] there ought very early 
to be imprinted on his mind a true notion of God as of the indepen- 
dent Supreme Being, Author and Maker of All things, from whom 
we receive all our Good, who loves us, and gives us all Things. And 
consequent to this, instill into him a love and Reverence of this 
Supreme Being. This is enough to begin with, without going to 

explain this matter any further And I am apt to think, the keeping 

Children constantly Morning and Evening to acts of Devotion to God 
as to their Maker, Preserver and Benefactor, in some plain and short 
Form of Prayer, suitable to their Age and Capacity will be of much 
more use to them in Religion, Knowledge and Vertue, than to 
distract their Thoughts with curious Enquiries into this unscrutable 
Essence and Being. 17 

In the regime that later was to be established at the College, it is as if the 
Bowdoin authorities had made this last precept of Locke the very corner- 
stone of their educational philosophy. 

If virtue might be taken to cover many moral qualities and precepts, 
including religion and a belief in God, the word piety is more definite and 
constant in meaning. Piety centers in religious devotion and reverence to 
God, and it would be nigh impossible to promote piety without encourag- 
ing religion and religious values. And if promotion of virtue and piety were 
not enough to give religion a place in the development of Bowdoin, the 
very fact of its being a college would have assured religion a prominent 
position in its day-by-day existence. Religion was closely associated with all 
colleges at that time, as in fact it had been with universities ever since they 
were founded in the late Middle Ages. Bowdoin was not meant to be an 
exception, but was founded and patterned after existing colleges, especial- 
ly Harvard. What Professor Morison has written about the founders of 
Harvard would no doubt apply equally to the founders of Bowdoin: 

We should miss the spirit of early Harvard if we supposed the 
founders' purpose to be secular. In Christi Gloriam, inscribed on the 

The Founding of the College 7 

College Seal of 1650, expressed the fundamental object of their foun- 
dation. The English mind had barely conceived a lay system of 
higher education, and any such plan would have been abhorred by 
puritans. Like the medieval schoolmen, they believed that all 
knowledge without Christ was vain. Veritas to them, as to Dante, 
meant the divine truth, although, more humble than he, they never 
hoped to attain it. The first college laws declared that every student 
was to be plainly instructed that the 'maine end of his life and studies' 
was 'to know God and Jesus Christ... and therefore to lay Christ in 
the bottome, as the only foundation of all sound knowledge and 
Learning.' 18 

Indeed changing concepts of how to promote virtue and piety and fur- 
ther the ends of a liberal education — always influenced in greater or lesser 
degree by the development of higher education in general — for many years 
made religion an integral but constantly shifting part of Bowdoin's life and 


The College Under Way 

The charter obtained, it was now up to the Trustees and Overseers to get 
the College into operation. Things moved slowly, and it was not until 
February 1796 that the College was in possession of the five townships 
granted by the commonwealth. The market for the land was poor, and 
funds were not available. Although the College was to be in Brunswick, 
just where it was to be located had not been decided, and there were 
several small settlements in the town. Finally, in July 1796, the Boards of 
the College held a joint meeting in Brunswick and decided on its present 
location contingent on receiving the land as a gift. The land was forth- 
coming, and two years later the Boards began to erect a "House" for the 
use of the College. The walls and temporary roof were finished in 1799, 
and then for two years the windows were boarded up and construction was 
at a standstill. When various efforts to raise funds failed, the Boards, in 
1801, sold two of the college townships, Dixmont and Foxcroft. With these 
funds at hand, the construction of the "House" was immediately resumed, 
and by the spring of 1802 the first two floors were completed. It was 
deemed that these were sufficient to accommodate the College. 1 The 
eastern portion, with kitchen, parlor, and pantry on the first floor and bed 
chambers on the second, was designed as living quarters for the president. 
The two rooms on the first floor of the western side of the building were 
thrown into one for use as a chapel and hall, while the two rooms on the 
second floor were for the occupation of students. Recitations were to be 
held in the student rooms. 2 

With the construction of the College House again under way, the 
Boards proceeded to the selection of a president. Various men were sug- 
gested for the office, but there was no electoral controversy. In an 
apparently harmonious meeting on July 9, 1801, the Boards elected the 
Reverend Joseph McKeen, pastor of the Congregational church in Lower 
Beverly, Massachusetts, as the first president of Bowdoin College. 3 

President McKeen, who was born in Londonderry, New Hampshire, 
on October 15, 1757, was of Scotch- Irish ancestry and had been brought 
up as a Presbyterian. After graduating from Dartmouth at the age of 
seventeen, he taught school for eight years in Londonderry. In 1782 he 

10 Religion at Bowdoin College: A History 

studied mathematics and astronomy with Professor Samuel Williams in 
Cambridge, Massachusetts, and shortly thereafter undertook the study of 
theology with the Reverend Dr. Simon Williams of Windham, New Hamp- 
shire, with whom he had earlier fitted for college. While assisting at 
Phillips (Andover) Academy he began to preach, principally in 
Presbyterian congregations. In 1781 Dr. Joseph Willard, pastor of the 
large and wealthy Congregational church in Lower Beverly, Massachu- 
setts, had been called to be president of Harvard. The church at Beverly 
had been four years with no settled minister when in 1 785 it extended a call 
to Mr. McKeen. Having accepted the call, Mr. McKeen in May of that 
year severed his connection with the Presbytery and was ordained in the 
Congregational ministry. Shortly thereafter he married Alice Anderson of 
Londonderry. 4 

Although Rev. McKeen accepted the election to the presidency of 
Bowdoin, there were still some matters to be negotiated. There were some 
differences over the proposed salary, and McKeen requested a grant of a 
thousand acres of the College's wild lands as a provision for his family after 
his death. He also asked that the College build a separate dwelling for him, 
certainly a wise and moderate request as the McKeens had two daughters 
and three sons and needed larger quarters than those provided in the Col- 
lege House. While these negotiations were being carried on, McKeen took 
the precaution to consult with James Bowdoin and received his support. 
Mr. Bowdoin even promised to give him one hundred dollars to help 
defray the cost of moving to Brunswick. 5 The Trustees agreed to McKeen's 
wishes, being unwilling to affront their greatest benefactor and also run 
the risk of losing their president-elect. 6 

The choice of McKeen was a wise and fortunate one. As pastor of the 
Lower Beverly church he had gained wide experience and renown as a 
preacher. Professor Cleaveland states: 

The society [Beverly church] was not without its divisions, political 
and religious. McKeen was not quite orthodox in the opinion of some 
of his parishioners, nor so liberal in his theological views as others 
would have liked. But he was candid, upright, prudent, and con- 
ciliatory. He soon showed himself to be a man of great ability and 
learning, and of excellent judgment. Under his faithful and peaceful 
ministry the discordant elements subsided and for the most part 
seemed to coalesce. 7 

Professor Cleaveland, who spoke to many men who knew McKeen well as 
president of the College, writes further: 

He was tall, of robust frame, and of athletic vigor. He had a 
countenance that was both winning and commanding — In manners 
he was gentlemanly, easy, affable, — a man whom everybody liked 

The College Under Way 11 

and respected too, for he could not have been more correct in his 
deportment or more upright in conduct had he been ever so stiffly 
starched. He was mild and yet firm. He was dignified yet perfectly 

accessible. He was serious and yet habitually cheerful On all those 

great questions which involve man's responsibility and duty to his 
neighbor, his country, and his Maker, Dr. McKeen was earnest and 
decided in opinion and feeling, but at the same time perfectly 
tolerant. In theology he belonged to the milder school of the 
moderate Calvinists. No one who knew him could doubt the sincerity 
of his Christian profession, or the genuineness of his piety. 8 

Such was the man to whom Professor Alpheus Spring Packard paid high 
tribute in his address to the Bowdoin Alumni Association in 1858, saying: 
"Succeeding generations will have occasion to remember with gratitude 
that the choice of the first President fell on one who, of a true catholic 
spirit, with firmness and wisdom gave the right direction to the religious 
character of the College " 9 

McKeen was not only to fulfill the duties of president, but he was to 
teach as well. No one thought otherwise, and thus there began the tradi- 
tion of the president of Bowdoin being a teaching member of the faculty, a 
tradition which has been followed throughout the history of the College. 
To aid him in teaching, Mr. John Abbot, a member of a prominent Massa- 
chusetts family, was elected professor of languages. He was a graduate of 
Harvard and had been a tutor there from 1787 to 1792. He studied for the 
ministry but never was ordained and at the time of his election to the pro- 
fessorship was acting as a cashier in a Portland bank. He was not exactly a 
fortunate choice, for he did not distinguish himself as a teacher, and in 
1816 resigned to become treasurer of the College and a member of the 
Board of Trustees. 

By the end of the summer of 1802, all was set for the opening of the 
College. The new president's dwelling was not yet completed, and the 
family was temporarily ensconced in the apartments in the College House. 
At noon on September 2, 1802, the first academic procession in Maine 
took place when the assembled dignitaries marched from the College 
House to a large platform which had been erected on a clearing in the sur- 
rounding pines. Here as the first official act of the day, the president of the 
Board of Overseers called upon the vice president of the Trustees to give a 
name to College House. It was to be "Massachusetts Hall," and the vice 
president "gave a short address pertinent to the occasion." 10 Then Presi- 
dent McKeen was formally installed, and he in turn, with leave from the 
Boards, declared Mr. Abbot professor of languages. Numerous speeches in 
Latin and English were made. In his inaugural address President McKeen 
set forth his views of what the College was and the policies to be followed. 
Few college presidents in their inaugurals have done so with as much clar- 

12 Religion at Bowdoin College: A History 

ity and brevity. In a passage often quoted in subsequent years, he said: 

It ought always to be remembered, that literary institutions are 
founded and endowed for the common good, and not for the private 
advantage of those who resort to them for education. It is not that 
they may be able to pass through life in an easy or reputable manner, 
but that their mental powers may be cultivated and improved for the 
benefit of society. If it be true no man should live for himself alone, 
we may safely assert that every man who has been aided by a public 
institution to acquire an education and to qualify himself for 
usefulness, is under peculiar obligations to exert his talents for the 
public good. 11 

At that time the issue of whether Bowdoin was a private or public 
institution was not acute, but it is nevertheless interesting that the new 
president chose to stress its public character. There was, however, much 
more in the address than this famous passage. He pointed out how pleasing 
it was "to observe a growing disposition in the inhabitants to promote 
education, without which, the prospect of the future state of society must 
be painful to the reflecting mind." Sound training was necessary lest peo- 
ple "easily fall a prey to the delusive arts of any new pretender to superior 
knowledge especially in medicine and theology." He made a plea for an 
educated clergy, for too often man was "contented with such instructions 
on the subject of his eternal interests as he can obtain from the most 
illiterate vagrants, who understand neither what they say, nor whereof they 
affirm." 12 He went on to say: 

I would not be understood to assert, nor even intimate, that human 
learning is alone sufficient to make a man a good teacher of religion. 
I believe that he must have so felt the power of the divine truth upon 
his heart, as to be brought under its governing influence. But since 
the days of inspiration are over, an acquaintance with the force of 
language, with the rules of legitimate reasoning, and especially with 
the sacred scriptures, which can be acquired only by reading, study, 
and meditation, is necessary to qualify one for the office of a teacher 
in the church. That the inhabitants of this district may have their 
own sons to fill the liberal professions among them, and particularly 
to instruct them in the principles and practice of our holy religion, is 
doubtless the object of this institution 13 

He cautioned, moreover, that it should never be imagined "that the 
sole object of education is to make youth acquainted with languages, 
sciences and arts. It is of incalculable importance, that, as education in- 
creases their mental energies, these energies should be rightly directed." 
"It is doubtless a desirable thing to facilitate the acquisition of knowledge; 
but, in aiming at this, there is a serious danger to be avoided, that of in- 
ducing an impatience of application, and an aversion to every thing that 

The College Under Way 13 

requires labor In this connection, it may not be improper to suggest an 

advantage arising from the study of what are called the learned languages; 
it inures a youthful mind to application, and is, in this respect, useful; even 
if no advantage arose from the knowledge of them. The mind acquires 
strength and vigor from exercise, as well as the body." The "early forma- 
tion of habits of industry and investigation" he considered were "of more 
importance than mere knowledge." 

McKeen not only expressed his ideas in respect to what may be con- 
sidered the more strictly academic aspects of the college; he also advanced 
views which were to set the tone of life at Bowdoin for many years to come. 

The governors and instructors of a literary institution owe to God 
and society the sacred duty of guarding the morals of the youth com- 
mitted to their care. A young man of talents, who gains an acquain- 
tance with literature and science, but at the same time imbibes 
irreligious and immoral principles, and contracts vicious habits at 
college, is likely to become a dangerous member of society. It had 
been better for him, and for the community, that he had lived in 
ignorance; in which case, he would have had less guilt, and possessed 
fewer mischievous accomplishments. He is more dangerous than a 
madman, armed with instruments of death, and let loose among the 
defenseless inhabitants of a village. 14 

The new president no doubt summarized his hopes for the College in 
his closing words when he called upon all those present "to unite in fervent 
supplications to the great Father of light, knowledge, and all good, that his 
blessing may descend upon this seminary; that it may eminently contribute 
to the advancement of useful knowledge, the religion of Jesus Christ, the 
best interests of man, and the glory of God." 15 Clearly Bowdoin was not to 
be a purely secular institution; there was to be no separation between the 
College and religion. 

Between the time of his election to the presidency and his assumption 
of the office, President McKeen had taken steps to prepare himself for his 
new office. In May of 1802 he and Professor John Abbot had been added 
by the Boards to a committee of three appointed exactly a year earlier "to 
form laws and rules for governing and regulating the college." 16 It was 
customary at all colleges to have such laws. 17 In order to acquaint 
themselves at first hand with these matters, President McKeen and Pro- 
fessor Abbot, in the summer of 1802, visited Harvard, Brown, Yale, and 
Williams. 18 How much of the information they gathered was incorporated 
into the Bowdoin laws it is impossible to say. At any rate, the laws were 
drawn up and ready for approval by the Boards at their meeting before the 
inauguration ceremony. But while the Trustees approved them, the 
Overseers failed to concur. A joint committee was then formed to revise the 
college laws, and these were adopted on November 3 , 1 802 . 19 

14 Religion at Bowdoin College: A History 

These laws no doubt laid down the qualifications for admission, 
stated the curriculum, and regulated many other matters. Unfortunately, 
no copy of these early laws has come down to us, and so it is impossible to 
be exact about admissions, curriculum, and conduct in these early years of 
the College. The Trustee records show there were some minor revisions of 
the laws, and in 1808 the Trustees voted to have 400 copies of the laws 
printed, but the Overseers did not concur. In 1812 the Trustees tried again 
to have the laws printed, and again the Overseers refused. This time, 
however, a joint committee was appointed to consider "the expediency of 
revising and printing the Laws of the College." 20 A year later the Trustees 
voted and the Overseers concurred "that the afternoon of Wednesday be 
appropriated to study and that the 6th section of the 3rd chapter of college 
laws be altered accordingly by erasing the word "Wednesdays" from this 
section. 21 Certainly this was not a momentous change. Then on June 6, 
1814, another committee was appointed "to consider what further literary 
qualifications shall be required of candidates for admission," and the 
report of this committee was accepted on May 16, 1815. 22 The nature of 
this report, or what the committee on revision of the laws came up with, is 
not revealed in the records. Finally, on May 20, 1817, the Trustees voted 
and the Overseers concurred that 400 copies of the Laws of Bowdoin be 
printed. We have copies of this publication, and there have been 
numerous revisions since, for there were hardly any meetings of the Boards 
when some law was not changed. 23 Through these laws, and with the help 
of modern catalogues, which in 1822 replaced the early catalogues con- 
sisting of single broadsides that simply listed the officers of instruction and 
the names of the students, we can trace quite accurately academic changes 
at Bowdoin. 

That there were changes between the laws of 1802 and those of 1817 is 
certain, but in all probability they were not fundamental. College pro- 
cedures, college life, do not change rapidly, at least they did not in these 
early days. The Reverend William Jenks, in his eulogy of President 
McKeen, states that one of the valuable results of the visits paid by McKeen 
and Abbot to the other colleges in the summer of 1 802 was: 

the requirement of such qualifications for entrance to this institution 
[Bowdoin], as immediately ranked the infant College in this respect, 

second in the Eastern States It may not be amiss to observe that 

the laws require for admission, an ability in the candidate to sustain 
a strict examination in the principles of the Latin and Greek 
languages, the select orations of Cicero, the Aeneid of Virgil, 
Arithmetic as far as the rule of three and also to translate English in- 
to Latin; being the same qualifications as were required at Cam- 
bridge before the regulations of 1805. 24 

These were the requirements; how strictly they were enforced is not re- 

The College Under Way 15 

corded. Anyway, the next day after the installation eight men varying in 
age from thirteen to twenty-three, with only two over sixteen, were ex- 
amined and admitted as Bowdoin's first class. There is no mention of 
anyone having failed to pass the entrance examinations. 

Classes were held in the students' rooms, with recitations three times a 
day, which were started at the rapping of the president's cane on the stairs. 
For these classes the two student rooms were rotated on successive weeks, 
the occupants being obliged to borrow chairs from the other while their 
turn lasted. No record is available of exactly what was taught in the open- 
ing years, or how the curriculum was shaped as the college developed into 
a four-year institution. 25 The Laws of Bowdoin College as published in 
1817 state, in regard to the curriculum: 

The course of studies shall be the following, as nearly, as may be 

In the first year, the English, Latin, and Greek languages, and 
Arithmetic; in the second, the several languages continued, together 
with Geography, Algebra, Geometry, plane Trigonometry, Men- 
suration of Superficies, and Solids, Rhetoric, and Logic; — in the 
third, the several languages continued, together with Heights and 
Distances, Gauging, Surveying, Navigation, Conic Sections, Natural 
Philosophy, Chemistry, Metaphysics, History, and Theology;— in the 
fourth, Chemistry, Metaphysics, and Theology continued, together 
with Astronomy, Dialling, Spherical Geometry and Trigonometry, 
with their application to astronomical problems; Ethics, Natural 
Law, and Civil Policy. With these studies shall be intermixed fre- 
quent essays in Elocution, English Composition and Forensic 

The Sophomores and Juniors shall frequently read specimens of 
their compositions in English, before their respective Instruct ers and 
Classes: and the Junior and Senior Sophisters shall, when directed, 
dispute forensically. 

And the several Classes shall recite such books and in such man- 
ner, as the Executive Government shall appoint and direct. 26 

Curriculums are not evolved or changed overnight, and it may be 
assumed that the above was not too unlike what was taught in the very 
earliest years of the College, although the appointment of Parker 
Cleaveland to the faculty in 1805 as professor of mathematics and natural 
and experimental philosophy brought an expansion in the scientific fields. 
It is interesting to note that "Theology" is not listed as a subject of study 
until the junior and senior years. President McKeen had given a course in 
intellectual and moral philosophy and no doubt included in it many 
references to religious principles. 27 Just what "Theology" as listed in the 
1817 curriculum covered is uncertain. Yet the patterns for instructing in 
religion at Bowdoin were early set. Theology was to be a limited but re- 

16 Religion at Bowdoin College: A History 

quired part of the curriculum, and much of the religious life at the College 
was left to be nurtured on an extracurricular basis. 

Chapel services attended by faculty and students were a regular 
feature of college life at this time. It took some days to inaugurate this pro- 
gram at Bowdoin, and it was not until the end of September 1802, about 
four weeks after the inauguration of President McKeen, that the policy of 
holding daily chapel services was started. The students were summoned to 
attend by the same signal as at the beginning of their classes, the rapping 
of the president's cane on the stairs, only in this case "a little louder and 
more prolonged than for the recitations." 28 Well might that be, for morn- 
ing prayers were held at daybreak, and it must have taken some urging to 
get the students out of bed and down the stairs to the chapel on the first 
floor. This was a sparsely furnished room with no pulpit and only a table 
and chair at the south end. 

After this first chapel service conducted by President McKeen and 
attended by Tutor Abbot and the eight students, they gathered around the 
steps of the building exchanging remarks. One of the students, George 
Thorndike, happened to notice an acorn on the ground. It aroused his 
attention, for there were no oak trees nearby, and on the spur of the 
moment he took a chip, made a hole in the ground near the steps, and 
planted the acorn. The acorn, no doubt, had been brought there with the 
oak leaves which had been used to decorate for the dinner following the 
inauguration of the president. The next spring President McKeen invited 
the students to help lay out a garden to the rear of his new house. Young 
Thorndike remembered planting the acorn and, discovering that it had 
begun to sprout, transplanted it to the president's garden. Here it grew 
and flourished. Young Thorndike was to die in St. Petersburg, Russia, five 
years after his graduation, but the tree he planted after the first chapel ser- 
vice was to become a living memorial to him on the campus as the Thorn- 
dike Oak. 29 

Immediately after the morning chapel service, the first recitation of 
the day was held, and only then were students permitted to have breakfast. 
There were also evening prayers at the close of the last recitation, but the 
laws of 1817 mercifully state that the time of recitations might be subject 
"to such variations, as the Instructors may find expedient." 30 Not only were 
students required to attend daily prayers but also regular church services. 
The 1817 laws so well depict religion at Bowdoin in the early years that 
they will be quoted directly: 

Chapter II. 

of Devotional Exercises, and the Observance of the Lord's Day. 

I. All resident Graduates and Undergraduates, whether dwelling in 

The College Under Way 1 7 

the College buildings or not, shall attend morning and evening 
prayers in the chapel. If any Undergraduate arrive after the exercises 
are begun, he may be fined three cents, and if he be absent, six cents. 
If any one be frequently tardy or absent, the President or some In- 
structor shall enquire into the reasons of such neglect, and, if they 
appear insufficient, shall give him a private admonition; if he persist 
in his neglect, he shall be publicly admonished, and, if he do not 
reform, he shall then be suspended or rusticated, according to the 
aggravation of the offence. 

II. If at prayers, or immediately before or after, in the chapel, any 
Undergraduate shall be guilty of indecent, irreverent, or disorderly 
conduct, he shall be fined, not exceeding one dollar, or be 
admonished, suspended, or rusticated, according to the aggravation 
of the offence. 

III. Whereas some Christians consider the evening of Saturday, and 
others the evening of Sunday, as part of the Sabbath, every Student 
shall, on both those evenings, abstain from such diversions and 
business, as tend to disturb those, who religiously observe the time. 
And it is enjoined on all the Students carefully to apply themselves to 
the duties of religion on the Lord's day. Whoever shall profane the 
same by unnecessary business, visiting, walking abroad, diversion, or 
any thing inconsistent with the duties of Holy Time, he may be fined 
not exceeding one dollar, or be admonished, or suspended, accord- 
ing to the nature and aggravation of the offence. 

IV. If any Student shall be absent from publick worship on the 
Lord's day, or on a day of fasting, or thanksgiving, or from any 
theological lecture, without previously offering a sufficient reason to 
some one of the Executive Government, [i.e. faculty] he may be fined 
not exceeding twenty cents, and for tardiness, not exceeding two 
cents; and any one, guilty of irreverent or indecent behaviour, while 
attending, may be fined not exceeding one dollar, or be admonished, 
suspended, or rusticated, according to the aggravation of the 

V. All Undergraduates are required to attend publick worship at the 
usual and appointed place. Provided, however, that, if any one shall 
desire to attend statedly on the service of any other regular Christian 
society, in the town of Brunswick, he may, if of the age of twenty one 
years, signify his desire to the Executive Government; and if a minor, 
may produce a written request from his Parent or Guardian for that 
purpose, and such application shall entitle the applicant to attend on 
such particular society, but not on any other. And in this case, such 
evidence of a punctual attendance shall be given, as the Executive 
Government shall direct. 31 

Such was the legalistic regime under which religion at Bowdoin 
started. Over the years it was to undergo many changes, which .will be re- 
counted in the following chapters. 


The College and the First Parish 

The requirement of being present at public worship on the Lord's day 
and on other special occasions calls for an explanation of the religious 
situation in Brunswick at that time. Early Brunswick had two main settle- 
ments: one along the New Meadows River, mostly people of English back- 
ground who had migrated from Massachusetts and were by tradition 
Puritans and Congregationalists; the other near Maquoit Bay and along 
the road to the falls of the Androscoggin. These latter settlers were largely 
Scotch- Irish and Presbyterians. 1 

The building of the first meeting house in Brunswick was authorized 
on January 9, 1719, but it was not completed until 1735. 2 Even then the in- 
terior was not completely finished., and although repairs were often made, 
it remained unfinished until it was destroyed by fire on October 20, 1834. 
This building was located about two miles south of the falls on the road to 
Maquoit Bay, where today a burial ground still marks its location. The 
church was supported by town taxes, and church affairs were decided in 
Town Meeting. To the people living to the east along the New Meadows 
River not only was the long distance a hardship, but even more, the 
Presbyterian cast of the service and preaching was distasteful. By private 
subscription, the settlers at New Meadows built their own meeting house in 
1 756. The same minister was to serve both the east and west congregations, 
but this division of the parish was a cause for religious controversy and 
financial difficulties and was one of the reasons why the town was so often 
for long periods without a minister. 

It was difficult in this early period to obtain a qualified pastor, for 
there were not many available. At times ministers who happened to be in 
the neighborhood preached for short periods. It was also customary for a 
man who was invited to take the position as "pastor and teacher" to serve a 
probationary period of varying length before he became the permanent or 
"settled minister." This involved reaching an agreement as to salary and 
providing him with a "settlement" which might consist of an additional 
sum of money, a dwelling, and the use of certain lands. He also had to be 
formally installed by an "Ecclesiastical Council" with invited ministers 
and lay delegates from neighboring churches participating. The early 

20 Religion at Bowdoin College: A History 

Pejepscot Proprietors had set aside in their original plans for Brunswick a 
lot of land for a meeting house, another lot for the first settled minister, 
and a third for the use of all subsequent settled ministers in the town. 3 The 
first three men to preach for short periods in Brunswick were Presbyterians 
and were known as resident ministers. Rev. Robert Dunlap, also a 
Presbyterian, was the first settled minister, and he served at both the west 
and east ends of the town from July 8, 1747, to October 29, 1760. For two 
years the town was "destitute of preaching," and then Rev. John Miller 
became the settled minister (1762-1789). He was to preach at New 
Meadows only eight Sabbaths during the year. There had long been dif- 
ferences in the Brunswick church between those leaning towards 
Presbyterianism and those leaning to Congregationalism. This now was at 
least formally ended when in 1769 the church adopted a covenant and 
Rev. Miller declared he was "Pastor of this Church on the Congregational 

plan " 4 This was important not only for the church but also later for 

Bowdoin. With the covenant, a step was also taken towards regularizing 
church membership, for only by signing it did one become a member of 
the church, as distinct from being a citizen of the town and thereby a 
member of the parish. 

Mr. Miller served as minister through the difficult Revolutionary War 
years. His ministry, however, was not without controversies, and in Town 
Meeting numerous attempts were made to reduce his salary and dismiss 
him. In 1788 the town voted to pay him no salary, but it is pleasant to 
record that after his death on January 25, 1789, the town voted at its next 
meeting to pay to his estate all arrears due him, amounting to £123 6s 8d. 5 
After an interim of five years, the Reverend Ebenezer Coffin was settled as 
minister. His pastorate began in the year Bowdoin received its charter and 
for two years (1794-1796) he served as an Overseer; his pastorate ended in 
1802 just as the College opened its doors. 

It was not a strong, united church that Rev. Coffin presided over. Dif- 
ferences which had plagued the Brunswick parish for years continued, and 
the general religious indifference of the times did not pass the town by. 
Baptist missionaries, the first one of whom we have record in Brunswick 
appeared in 1783, also added to the problems. 6 Soon members of the 
established church began to absent themselves from the Table of the Lord. 
A committee was appointed to ascertain the reasons and found these 
persons had become Baptists and denied infant baptism. Others openly re- 
fused to pay their ministerial tax, and so great had the opposition to the 
payment of the town ministerial tax become that at Town Meeting in April 
1792 it was voted "that all persons who can produce a certificate from any 
Society that they pay a ministerial tax to that Society the Assessors shall 
forbear taxing such for the future." 7 Later votes definitely mentioned 
members of the Baptist Society as being exempt from paying the regular 
ministerial tax. By 1794 the Baptists were strong enough to organize a 

The College and the First Parish 21 

Baptist Society of Brunswick, Harpswell, and Bath. They continued to 
increase in numbers and on petition to the General Court of the Com- 
monwealth they were granted on February 22, 1802, a charter incor- 
porating the Baptist Society of Brunswick. This brought a new relationship 
between the First Religious Society in Brunswick (that is, the Congrega- 
tional church) and the Town of Brunswick. In June 1803 the first parish 
meeting as distinct from Town Meeting was held. The parish now under- 
took those religious functions formerly exercised by the town. All citizens 
of the town who supported the parish by their activity and financial sup- 
port were automatically members of the parish; those who signed the 
covenant and made a confession of faith were members of the church as 
well. Ever since, parish and church have remained separate, but in polity 
both are congregational and united in their association with other 
denominational Congregational churches. 

The existence of these two entities — parish and church — side by side, 
but constituting one organic whole, has been favorable to establishing 
good relations between the College and the parish and thus with the 
church as well. The College could be closely related to the parish without 
as such adhering to any creedal statements, subscribing to any covenant, 
or having any overt connection with the church. Always faculty and 
students could be members of the parish and join in its activities and gover- 
nance without necessarily joining the church. The only qualification was 
that to vote in parish meeting they must be entitled to vote in town affairs. 
Well into the nineteenth century, becoming a church member involved not 
only accepting the covenant, but also publicly recounting conversion or 
other religious experiences. This, along with the possibility of being subject 
to church discipline, again a very public matter, largely accounts for the 
small church membership which existed at times in the parish. 

After the departure of Rev. Coffin in the fall of 1802, the parish had 
no settled minister for the next nine years. It was only natural that the 
parish turned to the new president of the College for aid. President 
McKeen was the only ordained Congregational minister in the community, 
and he regularly preached in the meeting house. This building, however, 
was inconveniently located both for members of the College and for an 
increasing number of inhabitants of the town who were settling in the area 
between the College and the river. 

In 1804 a minor crisis occurred. The Reverend Clark Brown appeared 
in Brunswick. He had been minister in Machias, Maine, but his heretical 
teaching split the church, and he was dismissed in 1795. From here he 
went to Brimfield, Massachusetts, where in November 1803 he was again 
dismissed. He was a smooth talker, and now some parishioners wanted to 
call him to the church at Brunswick. Yet those who knew about him real- 
ized that he was a troublemaker and in many ways a charlatan". President 
McKeen strongly opposed the calling of Rev. Brown, and he with the 

22 Religion at Bowdoin College: A History 

members of the College along with some members of the church began to 
meet for services in the college chapel. 8 Fortunately the parish did not set- 
tle Rev. Brown, but the incident may well account for a provision in regard 
to future pastors of the parish which was inserted in an important vote of 
the Boards in September 1805, discussed below. 

With the College about to admit its fourth class, it was obvious to all 
that additional quarters were needed. The year 1805 was to be a year of 
expansion. On May fifteenth the Boards voted: 

Whereas the library and philosophical apparatus are exposed to 
hazard by fire in their present situation, and additional apartments 
will probably be soon necessary for the accommodation of students: 
Ordered, that a building forty feet long, twenty five feet wide, and 
two stories high, the lower story to be twelve feet, and the upper story 
nine feet in the clear, for the purposes of a Chapel and place of 
deposit for the library and philosophical apparatus, be erected of 
wood by an agent to be appointed for that purpose and that the sum 
of twelve hundred dollars be appropriated to that purpose. 9 

At this same meeting Parker Cleaveland was elected professor of 
mathematics and philosophy. 

On July 13, 1805, President McKeen as agent of the College reached 
an agreement with Samuel Melcher, a Brunswick master builder, to erect 
the chapel for a contract price of $1,200 and to be finished in October. 10 
The chapel was placed to face the west about four hundred feet south of 
Massachusetts Hall. It was a plain, unpainted structure of wood with white 
trimmings, and no adequate heating was ever provided. 11 The lower floor, 
which was to serve as the chapel, had a chair and reading desk at the rear 
end with a window looking out on the pines to the east. On each side of the 
desk there was an enclosed bench, one for the faculty, the other for 
guests. 12 Seniors were to occupy the front seats and the other classes in 
order. The building progressed rapidly, and on October 23, 1805, the new 
chapel was the scene of Parker Cleaveland's inauguration as professor of 
mathematics and natural philosophy. 13 The service was replete with 
prayers, music, and orations. Perhaps it served as a dedicatory service, for 
there is no record of a special dedication of the chapel ever being held. 
That same day the Trustees voted: "That the President be authorized to 
cause a plank way to be made from the college to the chapel, and also from 
his house to the chapel." 14 These walks were the early forerunners of the 
"duck boards" which in later years were to be placed on the main paths in 
the autumn and removed in the spring. The chapel, however, was not 
completely finished at this time, and the president was authorized "to pro- 
cure such additional accommodations in the library room, as shall in his 
judgment be necessary for the preservation of the books and for the use 
and convenience of the Professor of Mathematics." 15 There is an entry in 

The College and the First Parish 23 

Mr. Melcher's day book on November first stating that his men were paint- 
ing inside the chapel. 16 His ledger closes the chapel account with the 
notation: "Complete January 20 to the satisfaction of the Agent and Cor- 
poration." 17 Construction had cost $975.69, and the College had made 
Mr. Melcher three payments of $600.00, $200.00, and $400.00 for a total 
of $1,200.00, the contract price and the sum originally voted by the 
Boards. As his careful accounts show, there was a "neat profit" of $224.31. 
Whether this was in line with the motto he inscribed on the opening page 
of his day book: "Better is A Little with righteousness, Then Great 
revenues without right," is a matter of judgment. 

In the summer of 1818 the chapel was enlarged, moved a short 
distance to higher ground, and turned to face north towards Massachusetts 
Hall. 18 A belfry was added and the bell transferred from Massachusetts 
Hall. At last the building received a coat of light yellow paint. The 
building was always meant to be only a temporary structure, but it served 
the College until the present chapel was built. 

Along with the new chapel, two projects were considered in 1805 
which would give the College more necessary space. In a meeting on 
September 3, 1805, the Overseers refused to concur with a vote of the 
Trustees to build a new dormitory but were willing to agree to plan for 
one. The accepted vote stated: 

That the President and Treasurer be a committee to take in con- 
sideration the expediency of erecting a building for the accommoda- 
tion of the students, the proper dimensions of the same; and that 
they prepare a plan for the inspection of the two boards at the next 
meeting. And said Committee is further authorized to contract for 
such quantity of bricks as they may judge necessary for a building 
according to the plan they shall report. 

This vote eventually led to the erection of Maine Hall. 

The other project was the erection of a new meeting house for the 
First Parish. Although the evidence is scanty it was probably President 
McKeen and Professor John Abbot who started the move to build a new 
meeting house nearer the campus. 19 At least the first definite mention we 
have of the project is in the records of the Governing Boards of the College, 
where on September 3 , 1 805 , it was recorded : 

That the President and Treasurer be authorized to subscribe 
eight shares in the Meeting House proposed to be built by subscrip- 
tion near the College, in pursuance of the proposals of a committee 
of subscribers. Provided that the Meeting House shall be located 
within one hundred rods from Massachusetts Hall, and such accom- 
modations in said Meeting House be secured to the College as the 
President and Treasurer shall deem necessary. Provided also, that 

24 Religion at Bowdoin College: A History 

whenever the Proprietors of said Meeting House shall settle or 
employ any other than a Congregational Minister, the said Pro- 
prietors shall refund to the President and Trustees the amount of 
money subscribed and paid for their shares in said House. 20 

There are some important things to be pointed out in regard to this 
vote. The College subscribed eight shares in the meeting house, but the 
sum of money involved is not stated. From a later vote of the Boards we 
know this amounted to $800. 21 Just what rights the College should have in 
the new house are not spelled out in the vote but were left to further agree- 
ment except for one proviso. If the proprietors should ever settle or employ 
anyone but a Congregational minister they were bound to refund the 
money paid by the College. In a measure this provision gave the College a 
voice in who was to become a settled minister in the parish. It was no doubt 
inserted in the vote as a result of the recent differences between President 
McKeen and some members of the parish over the proposed settlement of 
the Reverend Clark Brown. It was also meant to insure that the parish 
would remain "Orthodox and Trinitarian" and not go over to Unitar- 
ianism. It is early evidence of the close ties that existed for many years be- 
tween the College and denominational Congregationalism. 

A term in the vote also needs explanation. The meeting house was not 
to be erected by the parish but by a group of private individuals known as 
the proprietors. This was a common practice of the time, and in this in- 
stance there were forty proprietors who subscribed funds to erect the 
building. Benjamin J. Porter, treasurer of the College, signed for himself 
and also for the College. 22 Just where the building was to be located, aside 
from the fact that it was to be within a hundred rods of Massachusetts 
Hall, was uncertain. On October 23, 1805, the day the Trustees met to 
share in the inauguration of Professor Cleaveland in the new college 
chapel, they voted to convey to the subscribers of the meeting house — the 
terms and considerations to be fixed by a committee to be appointed — 
land for the erection of the building. 23 In the end, however, the proprietors 
did not avail themselves of this offer but purchased lands from owners just 
north of the college properties. In 1806, on the land where the First Parish 
Church now stands, the second meeting house in the history of the parish 
was erected. Samuel Melcher, who had just finished the college chapel, 
was the builder. 

By September of 1806 the building was far enough along to hold the 
first commencement exercises of the College. Many notables and guests 
were in Brunswick for the occasion. Unfortunately there was a terrific 
storm on the date set for the exercises, and the Boards voted to postpone 
the exercises until the next day. The next day, September 4, 1806, was not 
much better, but the exercises were held. The roof was not completely 
finished, and President McKeen sat on the platform with an umbrella over 

The College and the First Parish 25 

his head while awarding degrees to seven members of the first graduating 
class. One of the men who had entered with them in 1802 had been lost 
at sea. 24 

On completion of the meeting house the proprietors, as always plan- 
ned, transferred the building to the First Parish on August 8, 1808, the 
parish voting "to accept the new Meeting House upon the conditions of- 
fered by the Proprietors." 25 The parish undertook "never, in that house, to 
employ or settle a minister other than one of the Congregational order." 
Thus was honored one of the conditions originally set by the College. The 
proprietors and the College had apparently reached an understanding on 
some other matters. The parish agreed that the north gallery in the new 
building "was reserved exclusively for the sole use of Bowdoin College, 
perpetually. The College was to have free use of the building on Com- 
mencement days, and was to repair all damages done to the building at 
such times." 26 This last provision was no doubt inserted because it was 
recognized that a special platform would have to be erected annually for 
commencement, and this might involve damages to the building. 27 The 
proprietors had all along expected to sell pews in the new meeting house 
and thus be reimbursed for the money they had expended. They were now 
given the right to sell the pews at auction to the highest bidder under cer- 
tain restrictions. Settlement with Bowdoin College was postponed because 
dispute had arisen over the exact rights the College had in the property, 
other than the use of the north gallery and the right to hold commence- 
ment in the building. This dispute was to be submitted to a referee, and 
the settlement of the College's rights to the proceeds from the sale of the 
pews was deferred until an agreement was reached. 28 

On November 5, 1808, the assessors of the First Parish "in considera- 
tion of the sum of one hundred and seventy-eight dollars to us paid by the 
President and Trustees of Bowdoin College, the receipt whereof we hereby 
acknowledge, do hereby give, grant, bargain, sell and convey unto the said 
President and Trustees of Bowdoin College, their successors and assigns a 
certain pew on the lower floor in said meeting house, numbered 28. To 
have and to hold the aforesaid granted pew to the said President and 
Trustees, their successors and assigns, to their use and behoof forever." 29 
The College now had a pew, the north gallery, and the right to hold com- 
mencement in the meeting house. However, there were other matters still 
to be settled. Was the College to be reimbursed in any way from the pro- 
ceeds from the sale of pews? Did the College have the right to hold other 
meetings in the meeting house other than those of the commencement 
week? On May 19, 1818, and August 31, 1819, almost identical votes were 
passed by the Boards authorizing an agent of the College to meet with 
agents of the First Parish to agree upon the appointment "of referees to 
decide what privileges the college shall enjoy in the meeting house of said 
parish, in addition to those it already enjoys in consideration of the sum of 

26 Religion at Bowdoin College: A History 

eight hundred dollars paid by the college towards the building of said 
house, or to settle the same upon such terms and conditions as to the said 

committee may seem just and legal " 30 

A settlement was finally reached on an indenture on August 15, 1821, 
and duly registered in the Cumberland County Registry of Deeds on July 
23, 1 829. 31 It is important and merits direct quotation: 

That the Members of the said Parish in consideration of the sum 
of five Dollars to them paid by the said President and Trustees, do 
hereby grant, sell, release and convey to the said President and 
Trustees, one undivided ninth part of all the right, title and interest, 
which the said Parish have in and to the Lot of Land upon which the 
Meeting House now used as a place of publick worship by the said 
Parish is situated, purchased of William Stanwood and Robert D. 
Dunning, together with the right to the several use of the North 
Gallery in said house, as now occupied by the officers and students of 
said College, with a right to pass into and out of the same, together 
with the use of said house upon the Days of annual commencement, 
to have and to hold the same to them the said President and 
Trustees, their Successors and Assigns forever. Reserving to the 
Members of the said Parish at all times except in Commencement 
Days, as aforesaid, the use in severalty of all the residue of said 
meeting house excepting the said North Gallery, and the Pew No. 28 
heretofore sold to the said President and Trustees. 

And that the said President and Trustees on their part in con- 
sideration of the promises, do hereby release and discharge to the 
Members of the said Parish, their Successors or assigns, all right and 
claims on account of any sum or sums of money advanced and paid 
by the said President and Trustees towards the erecting and finishing 
of the house aforesaid, or on account of the proceeds of pews sold in 
said house by virtue of the agreement between the said Parish and 
the original proprietors of the said house or otherwise; and the said 
President and Trustees do further convenant and agree, that all 
damages occasioned to the said house on Commencement Days, shall 
from time to time and without delay be repaired by and at the 
expense of the said President and Trustees. 

Thus by this agreement the College received one-ninth of the land on 
which the meeting house stood, the right to the use of the north balcony 
and pew 28, and the right to the use of the whole building during com- 
mencement week. In return, the College surrendered all claims for com- 
pensation for the sum advanced for the construction of the meeting 
house, 32 and undertook to make all repairs of damages resulting from the 
use of the house during commencement week. Nothing was said in the 
agreement about holding college exercises in the meeting house aside from 
those of commencement week. The opportunity to nail down these rights 
came in connection with the purchase of a bell for the meeting house. 

The College and the First Parish 2 7 

The first reference we have to a bell in the community dates to 1811, 
and it hung in the belfry atop Massachusetts Hall. 33 After the new meeting 
house was built, the parish used this college bell, even after it was moved to 
the new belfry erected on the chapel in 1818. 34 This arrangement, 
however, was not satisfactory to the parish, and in 1824 a subscription 
paper was circulated to buy a bell for the meeting house. It was a popular 
move, and soon $510.75 was at hand. Of this sum, fifty dollars had been 
subscribed by the Standing Committee of the College on November 16, 
1824, on "condition that, by vote of the Parish, the President and Trustees 
of Bowdoin College have the right to the use of the Bell and the Meeting 
House for all Public Literary meetings in commencement week, and for 
other Public Literary meetings, during other parts of the year such as ex- 
hibitions, inaugurations etc." 35 These conditions necessitated a meeting of 
the parish, and on December 3, 1824, the following vote was passed: 

Voted, in consideration of the sum of fifty dollars paid by the Presi- 
dent and Trustees of Bowdoin College for the purchase of a bell for 
the Meeting House, that the President and Trustees of Bowdoin Col- 
lege have the right to the use of the bell and the Meeting House for 
all public and literary meetings in Commencement week (excepting 
the right formerly voted to the Peucinian Society) and for other 
public literary meetings during other parts of the year, such as ex- 
hibitions, inaugurations, etc., they giving the chairman of the Parish 
assessors at least ten days' notice, except at Commencement week; 
provided that if the Parish shall hereafter pay said President and 
Trustees the sum of fifty dollars, they may withdraw the grant now 
made. 36 

The agreement no doubt only regulated what had become customary 
practice, except for the ten-day notice to the chairman of the Board of 
Assessors of the parish. This was a reasonable requirement so that a 
schedule for the use of the building could be arranged. Attempts were 
made in 1826 and again in 1835 by some members of the parish to repay 
the fifty dollars and cancel the agreement, but in each case the articles in 
the parish warrant were dismissed. 37 

These several agreements show that there was early established a close 
connection between the College and the First Parish of Brunswick. 
However, it is not so clear what the exact proprietory rights and obligations 
of the College in this relationship were. In general it necessitated further 
consultation and negotiation as occasion arose. For example, on August 
31, 1830, the Boards voted that "thirty-three dollars and fifty-one cents be 
paid to the Treasurer of the First Parish in Brunswick towards the expenses 
of painting and repairing the meeting house owned by the said Parish and 
Bowdoin College." 38 On December 15, 1834, the faculty, apparently from 
funds at its disposal, voted "to pay thirty dollars to the parish for improve- 

28 Religion at Bowdoin College: A History 

ment in that part of the gallery of the Meeting House, which is owned by 
the College, and for the expense of a permanent stage for exhibitions." 39 
Again, on September 2, 1835, the Boards appropriated "the sum of $60.93 
for the payment of expenses in altering the Meeting House as stated in a 
letter of C. Packard." 40 How they ever arrived at these precise amounts in 
dollars and cents is not stated. Perhaps this was the result of a pew tax, for 
that was a favorite way of raising revenue in the parish, or it may have been 
a ninth of the total cost. 41 

In 1840 the parish voted to establish a committee "to inquire into the 

expediency of enlarging the Meeting House " 42 Not much is known 

about this committee's work, but on October 27, 1843, the Boards voted: 

That the Treasurer of the college be authorized to pay the sum of 
$200 to the First Parish in Brunswick to aid them in repairing their 
meeting house, on the condition that the Parish shall rebuild or 
repair the north or College Gallery so as to render it more convenient 
for the students, and shall fit it up with good pews, corresponding, 
with the exception of doors in them, with the pews which shall be 
made in the opposite gallery, and on the condition also when it shall 
be found necessary by the College, that the College exhibitions may 
be held in said Meeting house, in the daytime and its other rights in 
the house be continued. 43 

The last condition indicates that there must have been some differences 
over the use of the meeting house by the College. 

The parish in the end decided not to repair the meeting house, but to 
build a new one. There are no records of consultation between the parish 
and the College on this important decision. Members of the faculty were 
also members of the parish and so were in on the decision. President 
Woods was also instrumental in putting the parish officers in touch with 
Richard Upjohn, the architect of the new college chapel. The decision, 
once made (February 15, 1845), was rapidly carried out. On April 6, 1845, 
the last service was held in the second meeting house, and for the next 
months the services were held in the vestry owned by the church on School 
Street. 44 The old meeting house was immediately "taken, but not torn" 
down, a careful distinction in terminology made at that time. 45 By April 
seventeenth this had advanced to the stage where the tower was pulled 
down. The dove which had served as a weathercock was appropriated by a 
student as a relic for the Caluvian Society. 46 The first service held in the 
second meeting house was the Bowdoin Commencement of 1806, and 
likewise the new third meeting house was far enough along for the Com- 
mencement exercises of September 3, 1845, to be held there. The building 
was rapidly finished and was ready for dedication on March 18, 1846. In 
his dedicatory sermon, Dr. Adams touched on the relations of the parish to 
the College when he stated: 

The College and the First Parish 29 

A church should not be for ordinary, worldly purposes. We have 
or ought to have, other buildings for worldly purposes. We should 
build our churches for religion. We should not give them to God to- 
day and take them back for Mammon tomorrow. Let us also avail 
ourselves of the laws of association! Let us have one place where no 
sounds but those of prayer and praise, and the teaching of holiness 
shall break the silence; — one place where every association shall re- 
mind us of God and the Gospel and of Heaven! Some might suppose 
that these principles would exclude the Commencement exercises 
from this Church. But these annual exercises appear eminently ap- 
propriate to a House of worship. I would that all our young men and 
maidens, when about to enter upon the duties of life, might be 
gathered in the Church, in the presence of fathers and mothers and 
be sent forth with a 'God be with you'! 47 

His wish carried over into practice, and all graduates of Bowdoin 
received their degrees in the third meeting house until the small mid- 
winter commencements during World War II. 48 

When the new parish church was being built the College was in grave 
financial straits, being occupied with the erection of a new dormitory (Ap- 
pleton Hall) and a new chapel. There is no record of any appropriations 
being made to help pay for the third meeting house aside from the 
appropriation made in 1843 for repairs to the old house. At Commence- 
ment in September 1846 the Boards received a communication from the 
First Parish relating to the new meeting house, which it referred to the 
Visiting Committee to report back "at this meeting." The communication 
of the parish apparently raised no problems for the Visiting Committee, 
which reported: 

That considering that the meeting house is so much more beautiful 
and so much more convenient for college purposes than was con- 
templated when the Boards voted $200 towards the repairs of the old 
building, they therefore cordially recommend that the terms pro- 
posed by the Parish be complied with and that Charles S. Daveis Esq. 
be a committee to see that the votes of the Parish and Church con- 
firming such agreement have been duly passed, and then further 
recommend that said votes when duly certified be entered on the 
college records. 49 

This report was accepted by the Boards. No documentation has been 
found that Mr. Daveis, Class of 1807, performed his duties, but from the 
parish records we know what the parish proposals were. The new meeting 
house was "not to be used for any secular purpose whatever or for any pur- 
pose other than those that are strictly religious" with the exceptions made 
in favor of Bowdoin College. These were: 

30 Religion at Bowdoin College: A History 

For the accommodation of Bowdoin College, and in view of certain 
contributions made by the President and Trustees of the College, the 
Parish grants to the President and Trustees the use of their new 
House, in the daytime, for all literary exercises held during the week 
of Commencement in addition to the ordinary Commencement exer- 
cises, as may be appointed or approved by said President and 
Trustees; also on other days during the year for the inauguration of 
College officers; and also for any extraordinary services for which the 
Assessors of the Parish, for the time being may give their consent, 
provided however, the said President and Trustees shall be held 
bound to repair all damages that may occur in said House the use of 
it as specified by this vote, and provided also that, with the exception 
of Commencement week, ten days notice shall be given to the 
Assessors of the Parish of the intended use of the House. 50 

These terms were largely a reaffirmation of the rights the College had to 
the use of the old meeting house. For exercises now excluded from the new 
meeting house (exhibitions and class and society programs at other times 
than commencement) the parish offered the use of the vestry on School 
Street. An advantage of this arrangement was that this building could be 
used in the evening, whereas the parish had voted "that all services in the 
New House without exceptions should be held in the daytime "and that no 
apparatus for lighting the House shall be provided or admitted into it." 51 
Furthermore "in lieu of the North Gallery owned by the President and 
Trustees in the Old House" the parish designated the south transept gallery 
for the use of the students. There was an outside entry to this gallery, and it 
was far more convenient for the students than the old north gallery had 
been. No mention was made of a college pew, but the plan of sittings in the 
meeting house indicates that the College was assigned No. 26. 52 The Col- 
lege, with little or no cost, had indeed benefited greatly by the erection of 
the commodious new meeting house. In subsequent years there were to be 
further agreements between the parish and the College about the building. 
The erection of the second and third meeting houses of the First 
Parish in Brunswick and the regulation of the rights of the College to their 
use are only two aspects of the relationship which developed between the 
College and the parish. From 1802 until 1811, the parish had no settled 
minister. President McKeen and later President Appleton occupied the 
pulpit regularly and literally kept the church services going. That they 
received regular supply fees is doubtful, although these would no doubt 
have been a welcome addition to their modest salaries. In 1811 the parish 
elected Winthrop Bailey, a tutor at Bowdoin, to serve as its settled minis- 
ter. Times were hard, and the parish, still beset by internal dissension, was 
unable to raise the promised salary, and it is not surprising that Rev. 
Bailey found it necessary to tender his resignation in the spring of 1814. 53 
Again President Appleton stepped into the breach and took over the ser- 

The College and the First Parish 31 

vices. This was not viewed favorably by the Boards, and in September 1814 
they expressed their concern "that the health of the Rev. President is en- 
dangered by his preaching in the meeting house. That he be requested to 
give his ministerial labors, in future, in the chapel." 54 President Appleton 
was not one to be deterred by such a vote, nor was he one to spare himself. 
He continued to supply the First Parish pulpit either directly or through 
exchanges with nearby ministers. 55 President Allen also preached often in 
the meeting house, 56 and it was probably at his instigation that the parish 
finally began to make serious efforts to get a settled minister. The parish in 
1821 proposed to the College that they cooperate in settling a minister who 
would also teach moral philosophy and religion to the senior class four days 
a week. The parish felt $700 would be a reasonable salary but that it could 
raise no more than $400 and requested that the College pay $300 a year. 
The Boards met the request by appropriating an annual sum of $200 to be 
at the disposal of the faculty for the instruction of the students in moral 
philosophy and religion. The faculty agreed to the proposal and voted 
"that the Treasurer pay to the Rev. John Keep the sum of two hundred 
dollars annually, provided he preached statedly in the Meeting House near 
the College, and instruct the senior class on moral philosophy, if the Ex- 
ecutive Government require it, having not exceeding four recitations in 
each week — and in such manner as they may direct." 57 The Reverend John 
Keep, who had been proposed as a candidate for the dual position, refused 
the invitation because of the lack of unanimity in the parish. The parish, 
thinking that the agreement with the College still held, went ahead and 
late in 1822 called the Reverend Asa Mead to be its settled minister. The 
faculty also apparently felt the agreement held, for on November 18, 
1822, they passed the same vote in respect to Rev. Mead that they had 
passed in respect to Rev. Keep a year before. 58 Rev. Mead, however, never 
taught at the College, and there is some ambiguity about the appropria- 
tions made by the College. In 1823 it was voted that the money be ap- 
propriated for religious instruction exclusively for the ensuing year under 
the direction of the faculty; in 1824 it was appropriated "for preaching the 
year to come"; and in 1825, "that the Rev. Mr. Mead be paid for his ser- 
vices up to the day in December next [Dec. 22] on which he was settled and 
no longer, at the rate of two hundred dollars per annum." 59 These votes 
are of interest as they are the only instances when the College contributed 
directly to the salary of the minister at the First Parish. As if to deny 
responsibility for these events of the past few years in their relationship to 
the parish, the Trustees in September 1826 passed this cryptic vote: "To 
disavow all connection with the settlement of Mr. Mead and not send the 
vote to the Overseers." 60 Without concurrence on the part of the Overseers 
it was, of course, no official vote of the Boards, but merely an expression of 
opinion by the Trustees. Why it was passed can only be surmised. It was 
probably brought about by a letter of September 5, 1826, from a commit- 

32 Religion at Bowdoin College: A History 

tee of First Parish protesting "the vote at last commencement [1825] to 
discontinue payment of $200 as part of the salary of Mr. Mead." 61 The 
Committee wrote that they understood that it was "the usage of most other 
Colleges and seminaries of learning in the country to contribute a portion 
of the salary of the minister, upon whom their pupils regularly attend in 
the publick worship of God." No record of the reply by the Boards to this 
letter is at hand, but the vote by the Trustees in 1826 is an indication that 
they were determined to sever connections with Rev. Mead. Their attitude 
might well have been influenced by the appointment of Professor Thomas 
C. Upham to a newly established chair of metaphysics and moral 
philosophy in September 1824, since there was no longer need for Mr. 
Mead as a teacher. The Reverend Mead was not popular with the students, 
and this may also have been a factor. The students were required to attend 
church services twice on Sundays and were not always too attentive or 
orderly in their sanctum of the north gallery. The Reverend Mead was not 
above stopping in his sermon and rebuking them. One Sunday a student 
entered the gallery in what Mr. Mead thought to be an intoxicated condi- 
tion. The minister was an ardent temperance advocate — a fact which had 
aroused the misgivings of some of his parishioners. He now took time to 
berate the student soundly and in turn was answered by the students with 
noise and a loud scraping of feet. Later in the day the students marched to 
the north end of the mall and there hanged Mr. Mead in effigy in the hay 
scales, meanwhile singing an improvised tune, the first verse being: 

My name is Asa Mead 

And I preached and I preached 

I insulted William Browne 

And the scholars scraped me down. 62 

It should be added that on April 7, 1823, the faculty found Browne guilty 
of being drunk at the morning service at the meeting house and suspended 
him from college until the first of August. 63 

To judge Rev. Mead by this episode would do him injustice. He was a 
hard worker, and under his direction the church grew in membership and 
new activities were undertaken. After he resigned in 1829, under pressure 
from a minority of the members, the parish called the Reverend George 
Eliashib Adams of Bangor to be the settled minister. The latter was an ex- 
ceptionally able man, and during his long pastorate, which lasted until 
1870, very close ties were established between the parish and the College. 64 

Aside from the connections between the College and the parish, 
centering in the meeting house, the service of the presidents of the College 
in filling the pulpit and the willingness in turn of the ministers of the parish 
to minister to the College and its students, there is one other group which 
did much to tie college and parish together. This was the faculty. They 

The College and the First Parish 33 

helped make the "Church on the Hill" what it was often called, "The Col- 
lege Church," although it never was this officially. In the early days the 
faculty were all members of the parish, and they took a leading part in its 
affairs. 65 They served college, parish, and church, and what they did for 
one could not well be distinguished from what they did for the other. 
Students saw the faculty not only in the classroom but also in chapel, at 
Sunday services, and at prayer meetings. The faculty did not shun but 
were active participants in the religious life of the College and of the com- 
munity. Whether they were successful or not is not to be judged, but they 
and the administrators of the College strove to give the students what Presi- 
dent Hyde later called the opportunity "to form character under professors 
who were Christians." 66 


College Regulations and Their Enforcement 

As has been pointed out, the first Board of Trustees named in the original 
charter was made up of six clergymen and five laymen; the Board of 
Overseers of fourteen clergymen and twenty-eight laymen. In the following 
years the balance gradually shifted in favor of the laity. During the first 
hundred years of the history of the College there were 250 Trustees ap- 
pointed, of whom 91 or 28.57 percent were clergymen; of the 344 
Overseers there were 96 or 27.91 percent clergymen. 1 Bowdoin was not a 
clerically run college, although the Boards were always friendly towards 
religion and upheld its cause. As Chief Justice Fuller stated in his 1894 
Centennial Anniversary address: "Those were the days... when all alike 
regarded virtue and piety as essential elements of education, and religion 
as the chief corner-stone of an educational institution." 2 

From the very beginning lay candidates for the presidency of the Col- 
lege had been proposed. In 1807 the Honorable Isaac Parker had even 
been elected as president by the Trustees, but the Overseers refused to 
concur — for what reasons we do not know. 3 All the presidents the Boards 
elected in the first century of the College's existence were ordained Con- 
gregational ministers except for President Joshua L. Chamberlain, and he 
had graduated from the Bangor Theological Seminary. 

Students at Bowdoin have never been fitted to enter the ministry 
directly on graduation. But the College has always offered a training which 
prepared them well to become members of that profession. This involved, 
particularly in the early days, a strong emphasis on Latin and Greek, and 
from 1827 to 1866 Hebrew was a voluntary subject. 4 At the time of the 
founding of the College it was still customary for a man who wanted to 
become a minister to associate himself with an established member of the 
profession. He "read theology" as a man desiring to become a lawyer "read 
law." This practice gradually declined, thanks to the establishment of 
specialized theological seminaries. Because of the spread of the Unitarian 
movement at Harvard, the Orthodox Congregationalists founded the An- 
dover Theological Seminary in 1807, to be followed by a second seminary 
at Bangor in 1816. A close relationship between Bowdoin and these institu- 
tions was soon established. Bowdoin men went primarily there to complete 

36 Religion at Bowdoin College: A History 

their theological studies but there were also some who went to other divin- 
ity schools which were being founded: Princeton, 1812; Harvard, 1816; 
Yale, 1822; and Union, 1824, to name only a few. 5 Of the 448 graduates of 
Bowdoin's first twenty-five classes (1806-1831) 83, or approximately 18.5 
percent, became clergymen, and of these 32 "read" theology, 36 went on to 
study at Andover, 7 to Harvard Divinity, 2 to Yale, and 6 elsewhere. The 
percentage of men going into the ministry was to increase notably in the 
decade of the thirties, when in the five years 1831-1835, 36.23 percent and 
in the years 1836-1840, 30.51 percent became ministers. 6 The numbers 
gradually declined, and when President Hyde in his inaugural address in 
1885 surveyed the history of the College, he stated that of the "2145 Bow- 
doin graduates 429, or exactly 20% had given themselves to the ministry of 
the gospel in our own and foreign lands." 7 

Students, whether they expected to go into the ministry or not, all 
studied the same subjects, for there were for many years practically no 
electives. From the College Laws of 1817 we know that theology was a sub- 
ject for the junior and senior years. Of what was covered in these courses, 
or in natural philosophy and metaphysics, we have no sure knowledge. 
With the catalogue of 1822, the first in the series which comes down to the 
present, we are on firmer ground. It stated that candidates for admission 
had to be versed in the Greek testament, and four years later this was 
changed to being versed in the Gospels of the Greek testament and Jacob's 
Greek Reader. This requirement remained until 1856, when knowledge of 
the Gospels in Greek was no longer required, but could still be offered as 
an equivalent to two books of Homer's Iliad. Four years later this was cut to 
the knowledge of only the first two Gospels. All mention of the Gospels in 
respect to admission finally disappears in the catalogue of 1867-1868, in 
favor of the general statement: "Real equivalents for any of the foregoing 
requirements will be accepted." The end of Greek as a requirement for 
admission came in 1879 when the faculty voted that students could be 
admitted to college without Greek and were to be given bachelor of science 
degrees. 8 

The catalogue of 1822 confirms that it was not until the junior year 
that students came in contact with religion as an academic subject, when 
they were required to study William Paley's Evidences of Christianity 
throughout the year. 9 This was a broadly conceived and able study of the 
origin of the Bible and the development of Christianity. It even contained 
a chapter on Islam and dealt with a variety of religious problems. As a 
basis for a survey course, it served well indeed and was used for many years. 
"Evidences of Christianity" as a subject for senior study was last listed in 
the catalogue of 1887-1888. The next year it gave way to "Bible Study- 
Introduction to the Gospels and Pauline Epistles; Life of Christ," one of 
the innovations introduced by President Hyde. 

According to the 1822 catalogue the seniors were to study Paley's 

College R egulations and Their Enforcement 3 7 

Natural Theology for one term. It was more or less a companion volume to 
the author's Evidences of Christianity, and as its subtitle stated, it dealt 
with "Evidences of the Existence and Attributes of the Deity, Collected 
from the Appearances of Nature." It contained much about botany and 
physiology with the purpose of gathering "materials from the knowledge 
communicated by science where with to construct an argument for the ex- 
istence and attributes of God." 10 By 1826 the juniors no longer studied 
Paley's Evidences but Enfield's Natural Philosophy, while the seniors 
studied for a term Paley's Evidences and also Paley's Natural Theology. By 
1833 Upham's Mental Philosophy had taken over for the junior year. Thus 
the pattern was early set, and courses in religion came to be postponed till 
the senior year. In 1847 the Visiting Committee was struck by the "vices 
and lack of morals on the part of the students." This harsh judgment was 
perhaps induced by the burning of the woodshed the previous fall. The 
pilfering of wood by the students was a perennial problem, but the burning 
of the shed and wood supply was something to take note of. The committee 

The want of moral instruction to a greater extent and at an earlier 
period, is believed to be a prominent cause of the existing ir- 
regularities and vices among the students. The first two or three years 
of his college life is devoted to classical and mathematical studies 
exclusively. Neither by recitation nor by lectures, is any instruction 
upon moral or religious subjects given. No opportunity therefore 
exists, in the way of public teaching to impress upon the student, first 
sentiments and principles of action, or to inculcate moral precepts in 
his heart. In the senior year when instruction upon these subjects is 
given, it is quite too late to repair the mischief which has resulted to 

the college by the irregularities of the previous years They are 

deeply impressed, however, with the conviction that a separate 
Department devoted to Ethical and Moral subjects, cannot longer be 
delayed. 11 

The report led directly to the establishment of the Collins Professorship of 
Natural and Revealed Religion. Judge Shepley, who wrote the above 
visiting committee report, backed up his convictions by subscribing $1 ,000 
to the subscription list establishing the professorship. 12 

The freshmen and sophomores, however, were not so religiously 
neglected as the above report might lead one to believe. Up until 1833, 
when this requirement was ended, all classes had "Recitations in the Bible 
every Sunday evening." What these recitations involved is not detailed, but 
they apparently were sessions devoted to Bible study and conducted by the 
president. President Appleton also regularly gave theological lectures on 
Thursday afternoons which all students were supposed to attend. He 
prepared these lectures carefully, and they constitute the greater part of 

38 Religion at Bowdoin College: A History 

the two volumes of his Works, which were published posthumously. 13 A 
glance over the topics of these lectures: The Existence of God, The In- 
telligence of God, The Power of God, Heathen Morals, Evidences of Chris- 
tianity, Faith, Justification, Election, Atonement, to name only a few of 
them, indicates that he dealt with difficult and fundamental problems. 
The students indeed were given a solid course in theology; perhaps too 
advanced for many, for President Appleton certainly did not insult their 
intelligence by talking down to them. In this way the president carried out 
in practice the view expressed in his inaugural address where he questioned 
whether "the outlines of Christian theology, might not, with advantage, be 
considered as a necessary part of collegiate studies; and whether his educa- 
tion should not be considered as deficient, who has no particular 
knowledge of the facts and doctrines described in the sacred volume." 14 

Although not as systematically as President Appleton had done, later 
presidents carried on his tradition of theological instruction. President 
Allen in 1836 reported to the Visiting Committee that he had delivered in 
the chapel "a course of Lectures on the proof of the wisdom and goodness 
of God furnished by the work of Nature." 15 In 1850 President Woods 
reported "giving instruction as in previous years on Sunday eve to a Bible 
Class for Seniors who want to attend. I am happy to report that the punc- 
tuality with which these have been attended and proficiency made in these 
several studies has been in a high degree satisfactory." 16 With the 
appointment of the Collins Professor of Natural and Revealed Religion in 
1850, the president came to play a lesser role in direct religious instruction, 
although he continued to exert great influence on the religious life of the 
College through his conduct of the chapel services and the courses he 
taught. This was also true of President Woods's successors Presidents Har- 
ris, Chamberlain, Hyde, and Sills. 

President Appleton was deeply concerned with student conduct, for 
he stated "that the morals of students ought to be a matter of primary 
attention does not admit of a moment's debate." 17 To him, as to the ad- 
ministrators of most colleges at that time, the College had definite parietal 
obligations to carry out in respect to the students. To this end their life and 
conduct was regulated by numerous college "laws" and practices. It was 
during President Appleton's presidency that Bowdoin's laws, which had 
existed from the very beginning of the College, were revised and published 
for the first time in 1817. 18 By vote of the faculty, each student was given a 
copy of the laws along with his certificate of admission signed by the presi- 
dent of the College. These laws, frequently amended, remained the basis 
for student conduct for many years to come. Gradually and piecemeal they 
were relaxed and finally completely abandoned. This did not mean that 
Bowdoin no longer had standards of conduct, for as President Hyde and 
later President Sills were wont to admonish the students: Bowdoin has no 
rules, until they are broken, and then the College will take action. 19 The 

College Regulations and Their Enforcement 39 

breaking of these unwritten rules has become more difficult to assess in the 
present more permissive day, but this guideline for conduct first enun- 
ciated by President Hyde still holds. 

Students in President Appleton's day were often as young as fourteen, 
and this no doubt led to a need for more parietal guidance on the part of 
the College. Study hours were carefully regulated. From the beginning of 
the fall term to the first of April these were from nine to twelve in the fore- 
noon; from the first of April to commencement, from half an hour after 
eight to twelve in the forenoon, and at all seasons from two to evening 
prayers in the afternoon. In the winter session the faculty at its discretion 
could assign a part of the evening to study. If a student was absent from his 
room without reason during these study hours or after nine o'clock in the 
evening he was liable to a fine not exceeding ten cents. If a student was a 
chronic offender and disturbed other students he might be "publicly or 
privately admonished, suspended or rusticated according to the degree 
and circumstances of the offense." If a student caused a disturbance dur- 
ing study hours by singing, playing an instrument, or making any noise or 
tumult he might be fined not exceeding twenty cents, admonished, or 
suspended. If the student failed to attend his recitations or was remiss in 
performing his assignments he was to "be fined not exceeding twenty cents; 
or, if his neglect became frequent and obstinate, he shall be admonished, 
suspended, or rusticated, as the degree of the offence shall require." 20 

The rules in regard to study were brief compared to those regarding 
"Misdemeanors and Criminal Offences." 21 These required five pages of the 
laws. Students were not permitted to leave Brunswick or Topsham without 
consent; if one went after permission was denied he might be fined not ex- 
ceeding two dollars. 22 If he were absent for a night the fine might be in- 
creased. If a student should "in Brunswick or Topsham associate with any 
person of known dissolute morals or with anyone, who within three years 
had been dismissed from college and not restored to good standing" he was 
to be subject to a fine not exceeding fifty cents, or to further punishment as 
the case might be. He was not permitted to eat or drink in any tavern in 
Brunswick or Topsham except in the presence of his parents or guardian or 
on invitation of a family with whom he was befriended. No student was to 
play cards, billiards, or any game of chance, nor should, if he was under 
age, buy, sell, or barter with other students, books, apparel, or any other 
property. He was not permitted to keep a gun or pistol in his room without 
permission of the president, nor could he go "a gunning or fishing" without 
permission of some member of the faculty. He was not to fire a gun or 
pistol within or near a college building, make any bonfire or illumination, 
or set off fireworks. Playing ball within or near a college building, or 
engaging in any other sport which might injure the building was banned. 
There was a revision and a general reorganization of the laws When they 
were republished in 1824. The laws were still grouped in chapters but were 

40 Religion at Bowdoin College: A History 

numbered consecutively. Law 33 dealing with "Immoralities" shows that 
offenses had if anything increased, or at least were formulated more 

If any student shall be guilty of profaneness, intoxication, or 
dissoluteness; of lying or purloining; of challenging, assaulting, or 
fighting with any person; or shall sing indecent songs, or be indecent 
in conversation; or shall lead a dissipated life; or shall associate with 
any person of known dissolute morals; or shall violate in any other 
way the moral law of God; he shall be admonished, suspended, 
rusticated, or expelled. 23 

In addition to the many specific things which were forbidden there 
were more general catchalls. For example: "If any student shall disobey the 
lawful command, or treat with contempt the person or authority of anyone 
of the Executive Government [i.e. the faculty] or shall lead a life of dissipa- 
tion or intemperance or shall be guilty of any gross violation of the moral 
law of God, he shall be admonished, suspended, rusticated, or expelled, 
according to the nature and aggravation of the offence." 24 Or again, 
"Where students may be guilty of disorders or misdemeanors, against 
which no express provision is made in the foregoing laws; in all such cases, 
the Executive Government may punish them by fine, admonition, or 
suspension, according to the aggravation of the offence." 25 

While the laws pretty well covered every possible dereliction on the 
part of the students, the authorities still were mindful of Christian charity. 
Repentance and a contrite heart went a long way towards alleviating the 
letter of the law. As the concluding paragraph of this chapter stated: 

The object of these laws, being the improvement and reputation, not 
the punishment and infamy of the student, if any offender, whose 
offence shall not require exemplary punishment, shall speedily and 
voluntarily evince his penitence for his fault, and by a private or 
publick confession thereof give satisfaction to the Executive Govern- 
ment, they may, at their discretion, pass over the offence, and 
refrain from entering the case on their records." 26 

Forgiveness and the practice of a second chance has a long history at Bow- 

The enforcement of such a strict code of conduct was not an easy task. 
It is clear that there were minor and major sins, and the faculty were not 
unaware of the fact that "boys will be boys" at times. In order to strengthen 
discipline and avoid the plea of being ignorant of regulations, the Boards 
in 1841 voted: "That each student at the beginning of the second term 
after his admission to college be required to give his pledge of honor, to be 
prepared by the executive government in a book for that purpose, that he 
will faithfully obey the laws of the College while he shall continue a 

College Regulations and Their Enforcement 41 

member thereof." 27 It was an age when making pledges was a happy prac- 
tice. Drinking was always a problem at the College, perhaps exaggerated 
by a rather puritanical view in respect to it. In the 1824 edition of the laws, 
students were forbidden to purchase or bring into the College spirituous 
liquors. 28 But it was easier to make a rule than to enforce it. In 1847 the 
Boards by formal vote "recommended to the Executive Government in the 
execution of the laws against intemperance to withhold matriculation from 
any freshman, who will not subscribe a written pledge to the effect, that he 
will not during his connection with the College, while under the govern- 
ment of college laws — use any intoxicating drinks." 29 What the faculty did 
about the recommendation is not clear. The Visiting Committee reported 
that there had been no general violation of the pledge of abstinence; there 
had been one bad case, and the student had been punished. Taking a 
pledge of abstinence, however, never found its way into the requirements 
for admission as stated in the college catalogues. 

Smoking too was outlawed for a time. On August 8, 1822, the faculty 
voted "that every student who is seen smoking a cigar in the street be fined 
50 cents." 30 But the Boards went even further, and in the 1825 edition of 
the laws students were flatly forbidden to "smoke tobacco." 31 There were 
soon second thoughts, but with reservations. On August 31, 1830, the 
Boards voted: 

That the amendment of Law 34 by striking out the words "nor shall 
smoke tobacco" is not to be construed into an approbation on the 
part of the Boards of the practice of smoking by young gentlemen. 
On the contrary the Boards regard the practice of using tobacco as 
injurious to the health, as holding out temptations to other excesses, 
and as a practice calculated to degrade the character of young 
gentlemen in College, and the amendment of the law is made with 
the hope, that the young gentlemen will themselves examine this sub- 
ject with the attention it deserves and come to the conclusion of 
themselves to abandon a practice, already fixing a stigma upon the 
character of the students of Bowdoin College. 32 

Students, of course, did not confine their use of tobacco to smoking, 
but in line with the customs of the time chewed tobacco. A story, although 
it applies to a later time, may well be inserted here. Professor Charles 
Henry Smith (Cosine Smith) who taught at the College from 1874 to 1890 
did not like to have his students chew tobacco in class. Students tended to 
think they would not get "pulled" to recite, having recited the day before. 
But if Smith noticed someone chewing he would call upon him and keep 
him on his feet for fifteen minutes or so. There was nothing for the student 
to do but swallow tobacco or choke, and it is said that Smith's way of deal- 
ing with the problem was very effective. 33 

42 Religion at Bowdoin College: A History 

Attendance and conduct at chapel and church services were constant 
concerns to the faculty. In January 1808 the faculty voted that every tardi- 
ness both at prayers and public worship should be noticed by the monitor. 
During that part of the year when because of darkness prayers could not be 
attended at six o'clock in the morning, the first bell was to be rung fifteen 
minutes before service and then tolled after an interval of ten minutes. The 
tolling was to stop "when the President leaves his house; and every student 
be noticed as tardy, who arrives at his seat after the exercises of the chapel 
commence; which will be immediately after the President enters the 
desk." 34 The bell for evening prayers was to be rung at five o'clock for two 
minutes and then tolled after an interval of a minute. 

The 1825 edition of the college laws in the first section under Misde- 
meanors and Criminal Offences sharpened the regulations on conduct in 
chapel and church services. It stated: 

If any student shall profane the Lord's day by unnecessary business, 
visiting, receiving visits, or walking abroad, or by using any diver- 
sion, or in any other manner, or shall be disorderly, irreverent, or 
indecent in his behavior in the chapel or place of assembling for 
religious exercise; or shall be absent therefrom without permission, 
or be unseasonable in his attendance; or shall unnecessarily leave the 
place of worship during the services, he shall be admonished, 
suspended, or rusticated according to the aggravation of the 
offence. 35 

Such strict rules coupled with compulsory attendance resulted in numerous 
violations; it is surprising that there were not more trespasses. The records 
of the Executive Government note the punishments meted out, usually the 
imposition of fines, admonitions, or in extreme instances, suspension. To 
cite a few examples. On August 26, 1807, it was voted "that Davis, Means, 
Storer, Stanwood, Boyd, and Mac Arthur be fined twenty cents each for 
absence from public worship; that Wilde be fined sixty cents and Wise 

forty cents " 36 On December 18 of that same year, Samuel D. Ellis, Class 

of 1809, was found "guilty of disorderly conduct in wantonly throwing a 
hat across chapel, thereby disturbing his fellow students, insulting the 
authority of College, discovering an undevotional spirit and treating with 
irreverence the worship of the Creator." He was suspended until June 10, 
1808. 37 That some students were habitual offenders is indicated by a vote 
of the faculty that Stanwood, who had been absent thirty-six times from 
prayers during the present term; Wood, who had been absent thirty-one 
times; Clark, forty-two times; and Southgate, twenty-five times; be ad- 
monished before the government. 38 Repeated offenders were assigned to 
various professors who were to counsel with them. 39 On November 18, 
1822, Bridge was fined fifty cents for reading at public worship; on August 
4, 1823, Millet received a similar fine for improper position at prayers. 40 

College Regulations and Their Enforcement 43 

On September 1, 1823, Cilley, Snell, and Stone were fined fifty cents for 
sleeping at public worship. 41 Franklin Pierce, Class of 1824, along with 
others was fined twenty-five cents for improper position at public wor- 
ship. 42 Nathaniel Hawthorne, Class of 1825, received repeated fines for be- 
ing absent from public worship and chapel prayers, and his parents were 
written to. 43 Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Class of 1825, had a good 
record; but his brother Stephen, who was in college at the same time, 
made up for him in delinquencies. 44 

Such supervision of the students was an arduous task and required 
much monitoring on the part of the faculty. A tutor regularly sat in the 
student gallery at the First Parish Church; and when students, with the 
permission of the president, began to attend public services at other 
churches, such attendance was checked upon by appointing monitors. 45 
Checking on attendance was not always carefully done. Thus Charles P. 
Roberts, Class of 1845, notes that he had received permission from the 
president to attend Sunday services in Topsham, "which is equivalent 
generally, to leave to stay at home," and so he remained in his room all 
day. 46 In the College's report to Roberts's parents in December 1843, it was 
stated that he was absent from prayers nineteen times, while his own 
estimate was forty times; that he was charged with no absences from 
church and he estimated twenty-one absences. 47 A number of absences 
were permitted and excuses were accepted. Roberts was finally caught up 
with and on March 21, 1845, was called in by President Woods about 
absences from prayers. "He said," Roberts notes, "I had overrun the ex- 
treme limit allowed — namely 36 prayers as I had 40 against me. He then 
stated the law. If a student is absent 12 times he is to be spoken to, if 26 
times he is more formally spoken to, and if 36 times his connection with the 
college must be terminated. Absences are to be carried over from one term 
to another, but not from one year to another, and in carrying the absences 
from one term to another 8 are deducted. So this law allows about 50 unex- 
cused absences for a whole year, and an absence from church V& day is 
reckoned 5 prayers — a whole day 10 prayers." Roberts had failed to hand 
in any excuses and refused to do so, although he was willing to give verbal 
excuses. He maintained that: "Every week a student put his imagination at 
work to frame excuses — when no real excuse existed — and falsehoods were 
sent in writing, and I thought that when a person renders his excuse to his 
officer face to face the truth was more likely to be exhibited." President 
Woods, with understanding insight, allowed that as Quakers did not take 
an oath but gave testimony on their own fashion, he too would take oral 
excuses, and Roberts promptly gave verbal excuses "for the amount of 18 
prayers last week." 48 

As always when there are requirements, there will be some student 
opposition and attempts to circumvent them. Thus Roberts noted on Oc- 
tober 22, 1841: 

44 Religion at Bowdoin College: A History 

"Nothing worthy of note occurred during the [day] unless the throw- 
ing of pumpkins in the chapel during prayers is considered so — this 
was carried on so thoroughly that the President's prayerful voice was 
drowned by the continual noise and racket. Thus it is easy to see that 
the compulsory attendance of prayers tends to no good, but rather 
otherwise — if prayers must be had better order should be preserved 
meantime, but the very fact of the confusion generally made augurs 
that students pay no attention, nor wish to. I forgot to mention that 
in the morning two dead hens were nailed up over the Chapel inner 
door." 49 

A week later Roberts and an accomplice decided to hook the bell rope, 
hide the Bible, and secure the door of the bell ringers. While they were in 
the chapel the student bell ringer came and locked the chapel door. The 
prisoners finally escaped through a window, but, still bent on their 
mischief, plugged the keyhole of the chapel and fastened the door of the 
bell ringer. The laconic diary entry for the next day simply noted that 
prayers were delayed. 50 

A favorite target for student pranks was the chapel bell. If it were 
silenced there would be no rising bell and no call to early prayers; students 
could enjoy the luxury of extra time in bed. In April 1827 the chapel bell 
was carried off, apparently the climax of a whole series of irregularities, 
and as a result two seniors were required to leave college and go home. 51 
Again in 1836-1837 the bell was taken down by some students and thrown 
into the Androscoggin. 52 In March 1842 some students, having removed 
the balustrade on the bell deck, attached a rope to the bell and pulled it 
down. A hole was broken in the roof, and when the bell hit the ground the 
wheel of the bell was broken in pieces. Alas, their efforts were not re- 
warded, for "early in the morning old Professor Smyth came over and with 
others succeeded in getting the bell mounted upon some stakes and so 
prayers were not escaped." 53 The next day the old bell was elevated to its 
proper place amid much confusion among the students. At the beginning 
of the fall term in 1844, a more serious assault on the chapel bell occurred. 
The belfry of the chapel was sawed off and pulled to the ground and the 
next morning was carried off for kindling wood by the students. 54 

The assaults on chapel bells were part of the college mores of the 
time. Students at Colby sent the tongue of their bell to Bowdoin, no doubt 
as a joke and an attempt to force a vacation from prayers. 55 Attacks on the 
college bell did not end with hanging it in the north tower of the new 
chapel. One Wednesday night in October 1854, the bell was removed and 
dumped into the river. Through the "agency of Professor Upham" it was 
recovered and deposited in the chapel on Friday, only to be carted away 
again. The faculty now took steps to procure a new bell of not less than 500 
pounds. 56 Undaunted, the students again removed the bell from the tower 
in October 1863 but returned it two nights later, before the vote of the 

College Regulations and Their Enforcement 45 

faculty to "buy a bell weighing from 160 to 200 pounds more than the 
former" could be carried out. 57 There is a tale that two students one Hal- 
loween night inverted the bell and filled it with water so that it froze 
solid. 58 This was not a mean accomplishment considering how high the 
bell was hung in the new chapel tower and how often a ladder had to be 
moved from one beam to another to get to the bell. All this effort to pre- 
vent a single chapel service! In 1878 the Orient editorialized, in regard to 
the many recurring pranks in classroom and chapel: "It is useless to speak 
of the folly and childishness of such tricks, but if mischief must be 
perpetrated we hope something more original than spoiling blackboards 
and cutting the bell rope will be devised." 59 

On October 12, 1844, three days after the belfry of the chapel had 
been torn down by the students, "some rowdies of the lower classes" carried 
off all the windows from the chapel. 60 These acts caused a furor on campus 
and led to an extended investigation by the faculty, but the perpetrators 
were not discovered. The assaults on the chapel continued. The Visiting 
Committee, in its report in 1845, took note of these activities and wrote: 
"There has been unusual and most wanton destruction of glass during the 
last year as well as cutting and deforming the seats in the chapel. No one 
can have approached the Old Chapel without being struck with the vast 
amount of broken glass around it. About 1300 panes have been broken 
within the year." 61 The students were in a rampageous mood, and 
1844-1845 brought the most costly destruction of property of any years be- 
tween 1831 and 1847. 62 These costs were apportioned among the students 
and charged to them on their term bills. In spite of the vigilance of the 
faculty, the students never stopped trying to outwit them. On the night of 
April 8, 1852, all seats were removed from the chapel "by some student 
burglars," which the faculty countered by holding morning prayers in the 
chemical laboratory. 63 

The punishments which students might incur for their "pranks" and 
for the violations of the numerous regulations were precisely defined in the 
1825 edition of the laws of the College. Article 13 stated: 

The punishments, which may be inflicted, are the exaction of study 
in hours for exercise and relaxation and in vacation, private admoni- 
tion, official notice of delinquency to the parent or guardian of a 
student, public admonition in the presence of the whole college, 
suspension, dismission, degradation to a lower class, rustication, and 
expulsion. The frequency and repetition of offences shall aggravate 
the punishment. 64 

Omitted in this statement was the whole system of fines which had become 
established at the College. The laws then added, as in the earlier edition, 
the assurance, "but if any student shall speedily evince penite'nce for his 
fault, it shall be in the power of the Executive Government, on his private 

46 Religion at Bowdoin College: A History 

or public confession, to pass over the offence without entering the case on 
their records." 65 

The routine admonition involved a student being called in to see the 
president or some other member of the faculty. Public admonition was 
another matter. It could be before the faculty or before the whole College. 
In the latter case it was held in chapel and was a very formal and solemn 
occasion. There were words of admonition for the offence committed and 
exhortations for repentance. The ceremony was ended with a prayer, as for 
example, the instance when two students had got into a fight: 

We feel it our duty to exhort you to repentance and we pray God to 
work in you sincere contrition of heart for this and all your sins, to 
clothe you with humility, and to put upon you the ornament of a 
meek and quiet spirit, that putting away all bitterness and wrath, 
and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, ye may be followers of 
God, as dear children and walk in love as Christ loved us and gave 
himself for us. 66 

Suspension in 1 825 was never to exceed six months (reduced from nine 
months in the 1817 and 1824 editions.) The student was given a definite 
period of time to leave Brunswick, and if he stayed longer he was subject to 
additional punishment. While away from college he was to carry on his 
studies under a person agreeable to the faculty, and if on his return he pro- 
duced "testimonials of good conduct during his whole absence," and 
passed an examination, he was readmitted to his class. If he had been in- 
dolent and failed to meet the above conditions he might be suspended for a 
further term not exceeding four months. If then he was not qualified for 
readmission to his class he was to be degraded or dismissed. If a student 
was rusticated he was forced to leave Brunswick for a period of twelve 
months. 67 If his testimonial of good behavior and evidence of diligence in 
study were then satisfactory to the faculty, he was permitted to rejoin his 
class on probation, during which period he could be dismissed at the 
discretion of the faculty. A student dismissed could not return as a member 
of the College in less than nine months. If his testimonials of good conduct 
were satisfactory and he passed the necessary examination he could be 
restored to his class. Notices of suspensions were regularly given in chapel, 
and at times were received with protest by the students. Thus there is this 
notation in Peleg W. Chandler's diary in October 1832: "There was a 
tremendous scraping in the chapel this eve. when Prof. Smith [sic William 
Smyth] went to read a suspension bill against a sophomore (Briggs); he had 
to stop and did not read it." 68 

The numerous laws and regulations bear witness to the attempts of 
the college authorities to enforce standards of conduct and uphold 
religious concepts and practices. They bear ample evidence that the men 
in charge at Bowdoin adhered to the belief that there was no separation 

College Regulations and Their Enforcement 47 

between religion and morality. President Timothy Dwight of Yale, a firm 
upholder of this doctrine, summarized this position well when he wrote: 

Morality, as every sober man who knows anything discerns with a 
glance, is merely a branch of Religion; and where there is no 
religion, there is no morality. Moral obligation has its sole ground in 
the character and government of God. But, where God is not wor- 
shipped, his character will soon be disregarded; and the obligation, 
founded on it, unfelt, and forgotten. No duty, therefore, to in- 
dividuals, or to the public, will be realized, or performed. Justice, 
kindness, and truth, the great hinges on which free Society hangs, 
will be unpracticed, because there will be no motives to the practice, 
or sufficient forces to resist the passions of men. Oaths of office, and 
of testimony alike, without the sanctions of religion are merely 
solemn farces. 69 

This belief lay behind all the rules and regulations concerning conduct; it 
was generally held at all colleges at this time and was accepted at Bowdoin 
by the students as well as by the college authorities. 


Religious Societies 

Some of the students undertook to further religion and morality at the 
College by forming special societies. The first and oldest of these was the 
Theological Society, which was founded in the spring of 1808 with a 
membership of seventeen out of a student body of approximately thirty. Its 
formation was due to the efforts of Tutor Jonathan Cogswell, with the en- 
couragement of President Appleton and the assistance of a student whose 
name we do not know but who was generally considered as the only 
"undergraduate whose character was decidedly religious." 1 The society was 
primarily for the study and debate of religious topics; "for cultivating," as 
Cyrus Hamlin, Class of 1834, put it, "some historical knowledge of the 
heresies and orthodoxies of the past ages and of the present times. We 
aimed at nothing above our reach." 2 The society had its ups and downs. 
Professor Smyth, in his lectures on the religious history of the College, 
remarks: "During the first term of the academic year 1811 to 1812, — the 
whole number of students being upwards of thirty, —there was not one 
among them who had made a profession of religion. The interest in the 
Theological Society became nearly extinct, and few, if any came forward 
to take the places of those of its members who had graduated. It was 
regarded by most with feelings of bitter opposition. The greater part of the 
students appear to have been thoughtless. Not a few were reckless and 
openly immoral, some of whom formed habits of intemperance which 
clung to them in later life and brought them to a dishonored grave." 3 But 
there was a revival of interest. Professor Smyth goes on to report that after 
President Appleton had read the narrative of the death of the backslider 
and free-thinker Sir Francis Newport to the students, the next morning 
twelve to fourteen members were obtained without difficulty for the 
Theological Society "not one of whom before had been willing to join it." 4 

All the early records of the organization were destroyed in the fire of 
February 12, 1836, which devastated Maine Hall, but the new constitution 
adopted at that time no doubt mirrored the society as it had been function- 
ing up to then. The preamble of the new constitution as adopted on March 
9, 1836, stated: 

50 Religion at Bowdoin College: A History 

Deeply interested in the inquiry 'What is truth?' and sensible that a 
free interchange of thought by means of friendly discussion is one of 
the best adapted instruments for obtaining correct principles, we, 
therefore, form ourselves into a Society governed by the following 
Constitution. 5 

There were the usual officers of all student societies. "Persons sustaining a 
good moral character, and who would be interested in theological discus- 
sions having been members of the College, at least, one term [could] be 
elected to the society by a vote of two-thirds of the members present, hav- 
ing been proposed two weeks previous by the nominating committee." 6 
The initiation fee was a dollar and dues twenty cents a term. Meetings were 
held every two weeks on Wednesday evenings, and the regular program 
called for two original dissertations and two debates on a question pro- 
posed two weeks earlier and accepted by the society. The meeting was then 
thrown open for general discussion. It was up to the president to appoint 
the participants, and frequent postponement to a later time would in- 
dicate that at times there were lapses in preparation. The votes on which 
side won the debate — not always recorded — show that attendance normal- 
ly ranged between fifteen and thirty. The records state there was no 
meeting from July 21, 1847, to March 1, 1848, when a committee of five 
was appointed "to devise means to resuscitate the society." 7 They revised 
the constitution — a favorite prescription of students then as now — and 
sought to collect money to pay accumulated debts. Money was no longer 
available to continue subscriptions to magazines. Their efforts failed; 
meetings continued to be poorly attended and not held regularly. On July 
12, 1850, there is this notation in the minutes: 

As there are now so many other societies in college, in which students 
exercise their talents at forensic disputation and so many other ways 
to take up their time, the President thought best not to have any 

meeting called for some time past And for these reasons it was 

moved and voted to suspend the operations of the society to some 
indefinite future time. 8 

At this meeting it was also voted to put the society's library in the hands of 
the college librarian. Some of the older members objected to this; another 
meeting was called on July 16, 1850 — the last of the society— and this time 
the library was entrusted to the care of the Praying Circle. It had gradually 
been built up to where it contained over seven hundred volumes. For 
reasons of safety the new custodians transferred the books to the college 
library that very year. 9 

The subjects for the dissertations or essays read at the meetings of the 
Theological Society are not given in the records. No doubt they were 
related to the subject being debated; the latter were regularly voted and 

Religious Societies 51 

recorded. A sampling of the topics will indicate what concerned the 
students of that day, many of whom were headed for the ministry: "Are ex- 
temporaneous sermons preferable to written ones?"; "Is the present divi- 
sion of Christian denominations beneficial to the cause of religion?"; "Will 
there ever be a time when all people upon earth will become righteous?"; 
"Ought the young men preparing for the ministry in this state who are 
natives of the state to remain in the state?"; "Is immersion essential to bap- 
tism?"; "Is it generally practicable for ministers to spend their lives in one 
church?"; "Is the cause of religion promoted by voluntary associations?"; 
"Is any infringement of the principles that all men are born free and equal 
consistent with Christianity?"; "Does baptism take the place of circum- 
cision?"; "Are infants proper subject of baptism?"; "Is the doctrine of total 
depravity taught in the Bible?"; "Have the efforts of infidels retarded the 
progress of Christianity?"; "Resolved that the sublimated philosophy of the 
present day styled Transcendentalism is essentially unsound"; "Ought mis- 
sionaries under any circumstances to defend themselves by force of arms?"; 
"Should the testimony of those who disbelieve in the existence of a God be 
received in our courts of Justice?"; "Are the Protestants less guilty in 
withholding the Bible from the slaves than the Catholics in withholding it 
from the common people?"; "Are there any innate ideas to the mind?" The 
last subject debated by the society, "Is France prepared for a Republican 
form of Government?" indicates along with others of the later years of the 
society that the interest of the members had shifted to more secular than 
theological subjects. 10 The society had served its day; it is remarkable that 
it had been able to maintain itself so long amidst the activities of the 
broader based Peucinian and Athenaean literary societies and other 
smaller organizations. 11 

In addition to the Theological Society there was another organization 
at the College even more religiously oriented. In September 1812 Frederic 
Southgate, Class of 1810, returned to the College as a tutor. Since his 
graduation he had undergone a conversion, and he was instrumental in 
forming small discussion and prayer groups among the students. He had a 
strong supporter in a transfer student from Middlebury College, James 
Cargill, Class of 1814. Professor Smyth reports that "in 1813 came three 
other men, Messrs. Dennis, Cheever, and Pratt, who had the ministry in 
view, and who had come here not only to receive good but to do good in 
Christ's name." 12 These men laid the groundwork for Bowdoin's joining a 
religious movement that had sprung up at various colleges. In 1815 the 
Praying Society of Brown University sent a letter addressed to the Praying 
Society at Bowdoin. Since no such society existed at the College, a small 
group of "professors of religion" met and decided to form such a society for 
prayer. They were six in number and on July 17, 1815, they adopted a con- 
stitution and elected officers. The preamble summarizes " well their 
thoughts and purpose: 

52 Religion at Bowdoin College: A History 

In consideration of the alarming prevalence of wickedness in this in- 
stitution, and a lamentable indifference to the things of religion; 
believing that a change in the conduct and hearts of the students can 
be affected in no other way, but by an effusion of divine influence; 
and also believing the promise of God, that he will answer the re- 
quests of those, who call upon him in spirit and in truth; we whose 
names are recorded toward the end of this book do form ourselves in- 
to a society by the name of the Praying Society of Bowdoin College. 13 

The constitution had certain unique features as far as student societies go. 
The member who had the highest grade of the highest class was to be presi- 
dent without resorting to a vote. To join, a new member had to have the 
consent of all existing members, and he had to give "charitable evidence 
that he is a real Christian, and on being admitted shall, in a brief manner, 
state the reason of his hope, and give his assent to the fundamental doc- 
trines of the gospel." The society was meant to bring "together the religious 
element of the college without any distinction"; in it there were "neither 
Congregationalists, Baptists, Methodists, nor Presbyterians." 14 Meetings 
were to be held after the ringing of the first bell on Sunday morning and 
before the start of regular church services. These were open meetings and 
attended by many who were not actually members of the society. They 
were not recorded, and no business was transacted at them. This was 
reserved for a Wednesday evening meeting, and the constitution enjoined 
that "no members shall divulge any of the proceedings of the Society." 15 

The object of the society was "to pray for the influences of Divine 
Grace upon ourselves, upon this institution and upon the world at large." 16 
This purpose it retained to the very end, but its activities were broader 
than that. It helped to keep Bowdoin in touch with the academic world in 
general, for, particularly in the early years, the society corresponded 
regularly with similar societies at Brown, Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Dart- 
mouth, Middlebury, Union, Williams, Amherst, William and Mary, and 
Waterville [Colby]. 17 An amendment to the constitution as early as August 
1815 provided that the society "join the concert of prayer for the mis- 
sionary cause held on the first Monday in every month," an observance 
practiced at various colleges and churches. 18 A record of prayers being 
held "for the prosperity of Zion among the benighted heathen" is 
specifically noted on May 19, 1819. 19 The society led in the support of the 
missionary movement which manifested itself in the United States in these 
years and led to the establishment of the Board of Commissioners for 
Foreign Missions of which Rufus Anderson, Class of 1818, was the 
longtime foreign secretary. 20 Not only did the society pray for and support 
missions, but a goodly number of its members went actively into the field. 
In 1910 there was a revival of missionary interest at the College when the 
students undertook to support the work of A. S. Hiwale '09 in India. At 

Religious Societies 53 

that time the Orient ran an account of what Bowdoin men had done in the 
past in the field of foreign missions. It reflects so well this important aspect 
of the interests of the Praying Society that it merits quotation in full. 

Here, briefly stated, are the records of a few of these brave men. 
Words do not tell adequately what they have done. Asa Dodge, '27, 
went to Syria as a missionary and physician in 1832; three years later 
he died of fever in Jerusalem, because he had hurried too fast to the 
bedside of a sick man. Samuel Munson, '29, went to the East Indies 
in 1833 and the next year was killed by cannibals. Horatio 
Southgate, '32, devoted the fifteen years of his life to mission work in 
Turkey and Persia. Daniel Dole, a fine teacher, went to the Sand- 
wich Islands in 1841; took charge of a school and later was President 
of Oahu College. Elias Bond, '27, went to the Sandwich Islands and 
Hawaii in 1841 and gave forty years of his life to the work there, in 
that time taking a vacation of two weeks in 1869. Crosby H. Wheeler, 
'47, was sent to Harpoot in East Turkey in 1855 and there founded 
Armenia College. B. G. Snow, '46, was assigned to the Island of 
Kuaie in Micronesia in 1852. He was the first to reduce the island 
language to a written form. He issued in it a primer, spelling books, 
readers, a hymn book, and translations of the Gospels, Acts and 
some of the Epistles, and a church manual. James S. Phillips, '60, 
was the son of a missionary, born in India, and gave himself to the 
work in that country. Perhaps the most famous of Bowdoin's mis- 
sionaries was Cyrus Hamlin, '34, whose model steam engine is now in 
the Physics laboratory. He went out to Turkey in 1839. His skill was 
tried many times as he had to thwart Jesuit and French [and Russian] 
intrigues. It is a matter of history how he improved the sanitary con- 
dition of the military hospitals during the Crimean War, how, to 
provide employment for poor Protestant Armenians, he started a 
bakery and supplied the whole British army in Armenia with bread. 
He turned over the profits of this enterprise, $25,000, to the Mis- 
sionary Board. His greatest work was the establishment of Robert 
College in Constantinople, which he accomplished after a hard con- 
flict of skill and diplomacy. The magnificent site and buildings and 
grounds of the college constitute a splendid monument to the energy 
and foresight of this Bowdoin alumnus 

Joseph K. Greene, '55, is still in Constantinople, just now in 
charge of the publication of periodicals in Armenian and Turkish in 
the Armenian alphabet, and Turkish in the Greek alphabet, after 
fifty years of service, from 1859 to 1909. Americus Fuller, '59, who 
went to Aintab, Turkey, in 1874, who has taught in Central Turkey 
College and who has been President of Euphrates College, has but 
recently retired from active work. Dr. Charles S. F. Lincoln, '91, is at 
the present day a useful Medical Missionary at St. John's College, 
Shanghai, China. Last and best known to undergraduates is A. S. 
Hiwale, '09. He has returned to his native district of Ahmednagar in 
India.... 21 

54 Religion at Bowdoin College: A History 

Great as was the interest of the Praying Society in foreign missions, its 
greatest concern was with religious life on the campus. To this end it pro- 
vided student leadership and participation in the religious revivals which 
were characteristic of Protestant America in these decades of the nine- 
teenth century. 22 Members of the society also led in observance of the 
generally observed days of prayer by the churches for colleges, 23 and in the 
observance of state-wide fast days. For example, there is a notice in the 
minutes of the Praying Circle on February 27, 1833: "Some of the pious 
students met this morning at 8 o'clock to commence the duties appropriate 
to a day of fasting and prayer for the descent of the Holy Spirit on our col- 
lege." 24 The fast days came to be freed from classes, and in preparation for 
fasting the student body in general celebrated by having a bonfire the 
night before. A sixty- to seventy-foot pole was raised, around which brush 
and tar were heaped to a great height. It is said it took from four to five 
hours to build a good bonfire. 25 Sophomores supposedly had this duty, but 
others helped. They were not careful where they obtained their material so 
long as it would burn. In 1842 they took much from the old gymnasium. 
According to college rules the bonfires were illegal, but for a while the 
faculty had relented, hoping the students would lose interest. This was not 
the case. In April 1842 Professors Packard and Smyth, helped by some 
town boys (Jaegers), caught at least one of the participants at the big bon- 
fire of that year. He was duly called before the executive government, but 
as a freshman he was able to plead that he did not know the faculty ob- 
jected, and nothing happened to him. 26 This was the time when a 
sophomore threw sulphuric acid in Professor Goodwin's face, and for a 
time it was feared the professor would lose his sight. The student was most 
contrite and explained he had meant to throw the acid only on the pro- 
fessor's clothes. He was, however, expelled from the College. 27 

This serious episode tempered the pre-fast bonfire mania for a time. 
There were no bonfires in 1843 and 1844, but the next year, in lieu of 
one, the Temple (privy) was set on fire. This was wanton destruction of 
property, and the cost of replacement was passed on to students on their 
term bills. But traditions and customs have a way of lingering on. For 
April 14, 1852, there is this entry in the diary of Benjamin Browne Foster, 
Class of 1855: 

Evening, the "Circle" met in Chamberlain's room where Pro- 
fessor Stowe conducted a prayer meeting. He in his odd, blunt, pic- 
turesque and uneuphemistical style told us about temptations which 
would "roll off us like drops from a cabbage leaf 

Tomorrow being Fast Day, by old custom, it is expected that the 
sophomores will have a bonfire, drunk, bell-ringing, and general 
jubilee night. Nous verrons. It is said a deputy sheriff and a posse will 
guard the meeting house bell and that the Yaggers [town boys] are 
ripe for a fight. 

Religious Societies 55 

About 10 the chapel bell rung, the docile faculty having permit- 
ted them (rather than the doors should be smashed) to have the key. I 
went out and found some of the students collected around a heap of 
slabs, fence rails, benches from the recitation rooms and other 
lumber, and others dragging fences, boards and brush and carting 
upon the wheels of the engine, "hooked" for the nonce, the ruins of 
an old building which by far the most part were engaged in pulling 
down. They were disguised and many very drunk. Soon the chapel 
bell, and the fire, with yells, fish horns, thumped funnels and other 
instruments simultaneously struck up. At the cry of "The Church" a 
gang rushed thither and, like a Parisian mob in the Reign of Terror, 
battered down its sacred doors and rushed in. They clambered up 
the tower for the bell rope which had been wound around the wheel, 
and soon its deep voice was "keeping time, time, time, in a sort of 
Runic rhyme " 

The fire was quite bright, though not large, and [the] lofty, 
granite chapel towers cast a dark shadow out and up into the 
brightened space. I did not actively participate but with my coat 
turned, handkerchief around my face, and old slouched hat, stood 
and sauntered about. Bed at 1 . 28 

Clearly Fast Day at Bowdoin was not given over entirely to prayer, sack- 
cloth, and ashes. 

The Praying Society at various times revised its constitution. The revi- 
sion of 1827 had a more concise preamble: "Sensible that we are under in- 
finite obligations to God for the privileges we enjoy and that we need his 
assistance in all things; believing also his promise, that the prayers of two 
or three united shall be heard; we therefore form ourselves into an associa- 
tion to be called the Praying Society of Bowdoin College." 29 This time all 
officers were to be elected by ballot, and there was to be "a committee of 
three chosen at the beginning of each year whose duty it shall be to ascer- 
tain who are hopefully pious and invite them to join the society." By 1830 
the term "Circle" began to be used in reference to the society, and in the 
constitution adopted in 1835 the name "Praying Circle of Bowdoin Col- 
lege" became the official name of the former "Praying Society." 30 

The new constitution was more detailed, and rules were laid down for 
the conduct of members. Members for the first time were required "to ab- 
stain from all intoxicating liquors, except wine at the Lord's supper — or 
prescribed by a temperate physician." "Any immoral conduct, such as 
engaging in noisy and boisterous plays, scraping, or in any way disturbing 
good order, breach of the covenant of the churches, to which we may 
respectively belong, neglect of religious or relative duties or denial of any 
of the fundamental doctrines of the Bible, as held by the evangelical 
churches and this circle, and professed by its members at the time of their 
admission, shall be censurable offences." 31 This was certainly -a broad and 
non-modern definition of immorality. Censures were to consist of admoni- 

56 Religion at Bowdoin College: A History 

tions, suspensions, or expulsions, and were administered by a vote of the 
circle, two-thirds of the members present concurring. Conviction required 
confession, the testimony of two credible witnesses, or equivalent cir- 
cumstantial evidence. Offences strictly personal and private were to be set- 
tled according to the directions given in the eighteenth chapter of 
Matthew, that is through forgiveness and brotherly reconciliation. Occa- 
sionally members withdrew; it is surprising how few were ever dismissed. 32 
In 1 861 the circle passed the resolution "that in the opinion of the 'Praying 
Circle' drinking intoxicating liquors, card playing, dancing, and habitual 
absence from our regular meetings are inconsistent with the Christian 
character and we do hereby express our disapprobation of the same." 33 It 
was with shame that they felt "it necessary to record such a resolution, but 
the conduct of some of our members absolutely demanded it." The resolu- 
tion resulted in the resignation and purging of a number of members. 

In the late 1830s the circle began to hold Saturday evening meetings 
given over to lectures by ministers and members of the faculty. 34 In the fall 
of 1850 Professor Stowe, appointed that year as Collins Professor of 
Natural and Revealed Religion, gave a series of Saturday evening lectures 
on the "Life of Christ." 35 In 1854 the circle voted to hold prayer meetings 
on those Saturday evenings when there was to be no lecture. The "ringing 
of the chapel bell should indicate a prayer meeting, and ringing and toll- 
ing of the same would indicate a lecture." 36 A new shorter constitution was 
adopted on May 26, 1855, and an amendment adopted a month later pro- 
vided that the secretary should make a concluding annual report on the 
condition of the circle during the previous year. 37 These are valuable in 
tracing the activity of the organization. Alternating lectures and prayer 
meetings apparently became an established practice, for on June 27, 1856, 
there is an entry in the minutes stating that "Professor Packard and Pro- 
fessor Smyth have delivered fortnightly instructive and interesting lectures 
to large and attentive audiences." 38 The circle was flourishing, and the an- 
nual report of 1857-1858 records a "good year" with twenty conversions, 
twenty-nine new members, and well-attended meetings. 39 In 1859-1860 
Thursday morning prayer meetings were permanently established. 40 
Another new constitution was adopted on May 26, 1865. 41 The Civil War 
apparently did not touch the circle. The only reference to that conflict in 
the records is this entry on June 1, 1865: "The continuance of our lives, 
while death has taken many, perhaps, some dear to us, calls for our 
gratitude and adoration." 42 

Religious services of the circle were for a time shifted from Sabbath 
morning to Thursday evening, and then to Friday evening. Class prayer 
meetings were instituted, with periodic all-college meetings. 43 In 
1874-1875 it is noted that two exercises which had long been omitted were 
restored. These were the Saturday evening lectures by members of the 
faculty and the Wednesday noon prayer meetings. It was, however, a small 

Religious Societies 57 

group of devoted members who kept the circle going. In a college which 
was increasing in enrollment, the membership hovered around forty. The 
record book for 1867-1882 gives the number of new members recruited 
annually from 1867 to 1881. These ranged from a high of eighteen in 1872 
to a low of one in 1875, with an average of about twelve. To the very end 
members were required to give an account of their religious experiences 
before being admitted to the circle. 44 The last recorded meeting was on 
June 19, 1882, when officers were elected for the coming year. By that time 
the circle was sending delegates to the Intercollegiate Branch of the Young 
Men's Christian Association (Y.M.C. A.). 45 On October 19, 1882, there was 
the first business meeting of the Bowdoin Y.M.C. A., and a week later the 
constitution was read and signed. At this latter meeting it was voted "that 
all who were members of the Praying Circle be admitted to active member- 
ship in the Y.M.C. A." 46 With this action the circle adapted itself to more 
modern ways. 

In addition to the Theological Society and the Praying Circle, there 
were a number of other societies at the College with a religious orientation. 
They left few if any records. One of the earliest of these was the Lockhart 
Society, devoted to the cultivation of sacred music. We know it existed in 
1813 and was active in the next decades. In 1832 at an expense of $300 it 
purchased and placed in the chapel an organ, with the proviso, accepted 
by the college Trustees, that it should never be disposed of unless replaced 
by an organ of equal value. 47 The society recruited the musical talent 
within the College and did much to enhance the chapel services. 

There was also a Missionary Society of Inquiry of ten to twelve 
members which was active in the 1830s. Cyrus Hamlin, Class of 1834, men- 
tions it in his autobiography. 48 A Bowdoin Unitarian Society was founded 
in the 1820s, and Henry W. Longfellow wrote to a friend in November 
1824 in regard to it. "I wish something could be done for us; we are small 
as a grain of mustard seed. There are but six members now in college, and 
our library is limited to a hundred or two volumes." 49 The society sought to 
strengthen itself by recruiting honorary members. In 1829 Charles S. 
Daveis, a prominent Portland lawyer and member of the Board of 
Overseers, was invited to become such an honorary member. The letter of 
invitation to him is about the only archival material the library has on the 
society. By then the "immediate" undergraduate members numbered 
twenty, and the secretary stated: "Our objects are the awakening of atten- 
tion to the great truths of religion and of a spirit of free inquiry into them, 
and the diffusion of liberal views. We have a library, which though small, 
contains much useful matter. It has increased very rapidly within a year, 
chiefly by donations. As the Society becomes more known we trust that its 
means of being useful will be increased." 50 How long the society continued 
to exist is not to be determined. 

There was also a "Christian Union" which stressed its liberalism in 

58 Religion at Bowdoin College: A History 

religious matters. Hatch in his History of Bowdoin makes no reference to 
it, and the library apparently has no records of its activities. However, in 
the diary of Charles Phelps Roberts, Class of 1845, on April 21, 1844, there 
is this entry: "I received an election to the Christian Union a society in col- 
lege composed of liberal Christians of all denominations. I intend to accept 
the invite believing it a good association, calculated to the promotion of 
morality and religious feeling. No narrow mindedness and bigotry creeps 
in here. Goodness and religion which to my mind, are synonymous terms 
are recognized wherever found and under whatever name." There are 
several subsequent entries which mention the union. On May 8, 1844, they 
adopted a constitution and debated "Is conscience an infallible guide?" On 
April 3, 1845, there is a notation "Had a glorious meeting of Christian 
Union. Thirty were initiated." The union had a library, and the observa- 
tion is made: "Will do good if anyone reads volumes." 51 The entries in the 
Roberts diary whet a person's appetite; one would like to know more about 
the Christian Union and its reaction to the climate of opinion prevailing at 
the College. 

Because of its name and purpose, the Benevolent Society should be 
mentioned. 52 It was organized on November 22, 1814, by twenty-nine 
members who met in the college chapel and adopted a constitution. Its ob- 
ject was: "To assist indigent young men of promising talents and of good 
moral character in procuring an education at this college." No person was 
"to receive pecuniary assistance from this Society, until he shall have been 
a member of the College at least one term." This latter rule was carried on 
by the College, with one brief exception, 53 down to the institution of the 
State of Maine Scholarships in 1930. 54 President Sills was wont to tell the 
Scholarship Committee, over which he presided, that the College expected 
a student to have enough money to get through at least his first semester, 
and then if he did good work the College would do its best to see that he 
did not have to drop out because of a lack of finances. 

A person could become a member of the Benevolent Society by paying 
a dollar and annual dues of a dollar a year, or a life member by paying 
twenty dollars at one time or thirty dollars in four years. The society was to 
receive donations in books, college furniture, and money. A committee 
was established, including members of the junior and senior classes, which 
was to make appropriate awards "with the advice and consent of the Ex- 
ecutive Government of the College." 55 Here was established the long- 
standing principle that the faculty should have the controlling voice over 
the distribution of scholarship funds. 

A considerable number of emendations were made to the constitution 
in September 1817, but the society apparently conducted its affairs in a 
rather haphazard manner. There is a recorded vote of November 11, 1 825 , 
which stated: "That in consequence of the careless manner in which the 
records have of late been kept, and the danger to which the Society are 

Religious Societies 59 

exposed of having them lost, the Secretary be empowered to commence a 
new book, and to copy such facts, as the standing committee may think 
best to preserve." 56 At this same time — why is not stated but apparently to 
bring more order into the affairs of the society— a committee was ap- 
pointed to look into the "expediency of corporation." They reported 
favorably, and the Act of Incorporation was passed by the legislature and 
approved by the governor on January 24, 1826. 57 On September 6, 1826, 
the society voted to accept the Act of Corporation and to dissolve itself. 
The following October a number of students met and formed the "Aux- 
iliary Benevolent Society of Bowdoin College." A strictly student organiza- 
tion, it was to have regular meetings with public exercises in the fall and 
spring terms "consisting of an oration and poem or dissertation." A com- 
mittee was appointed "to advise with the board of directors of the incor- 
porated society, whenever requested, relative to the appropriation of 
disposable property, and the individuals who may need and merit 
assistance." The new Corporated Benevolent Society also drew up a con- 
stitution, which is undated but must have been adopted some months 
later, as it refers to the Auxiliary Society existing among the students. 58 
Brief minutes of both society meetings for 1827 are available, but after 
that no records have apparently survived of either the "Corporated" or 
"Auxiliary" Benevolent Society of Bowdoin College. 59 

The Theological Society and Praying Circle supported the 
temperance movement, and drinking by the students was always con- 
sidered by the authorities as one of the major immoralities. Professor 
Cleaveland in 1814 and President Appleton in 1816 delivered and pub- 
lished lectures in favor of the "Suppression of Intemperance." This was 
well before the temperance movement began to arouse wide attention. 
Professor Smyth reports that "in the Fall of 1827, a Temperance Society 
was formed in College, which embraced a large proportion of the students 
and operated very happily in encouraging habits of sobriety." 60 We know 
little about this society, but we do have "Records of the Temperance Socie- 
ty of the Maine Medical School at Bowdoin College" covering the period 
1829 to 1840, when it simply voted to adjourn sine die. Its chief activity was 
sponsoring lectures, especially a formal annual lecture. The last entry in 
the record book in April 1840 is the note: "Had an address by President 
Woods of Bowdoin College on the subject of Temperance at Mr. Adams' 
Meeting house." 61 Within the next decades the temperance movement 
gathered momentum. Temperance pledges were circulated by local 
churches, and they received their quota of student signatures. In 1854 a 
group at the College formed a new temperance society. It, however, had a 
short existence, and the minutes of the last meeting, on October 30, 1855, 
note that few members were present and the existing officers resigned. 62 
Although replacements were elected, they were unable to keep the 
organization going, and the last mention we have of the society is a call for 

60 Religion at Bowdoin College: A History 

a regular meeting in the Senior Recitation Room at seven- thirty on 
February 19, 1856. 

In the 1830s and 1840s there was a strong movement of spiritualism in 
Maine, which had its repercussions in religious circles. Phrenology became 
a popular subject for lectures. The movement did not pass Bowdoin by. In 
1833 a Phrenology Society, or Enigma Society, was formed. They were few 
in numbers, but they "persevered in their noble undertaking regardless of 
the ignorant and the sneer of those who were unable to solve the Enigma." 
By April 1835 the society had eighteen active members, and it was busy 
recruiting honorary members, who by that time numbered fifteen. It had a 
library of twenty-six volumes devoted to the study of phrenology, 
psychology, anatomy, and mental characteristics of men and animals. For 
some reasons, probably because of scoffing remarks, members of the 
Peucinian Society were not permitted to join. The last record we have of 
the Enigma Society is for 1835. 63 

With so many religiously oriented societies at the College, it is not sur- 
prising that there were others with different orientations. These were kept 
under strict surveillance, as is manifest by this notation in the faculty 
records: "As it is made the duty of the Executive Government to prohibit 
the meetings of clubs and societies in college, which in their opinion have a 
tendency unfavorable to science and morality; therefore voted, that the 
Meetings of the Glee Club, so called, be forbidden." 64 The two old and 
strong literary societies, the Peucinian going back to 1805, and the 
Athenaean to 1808, were, one might say, religiously neutral. They were 
certainly not hostile and accepted the general position accorded religion 
on the campus. But religious issues did not leave them untouched, as is 
shown by this entry in Charles Phelps Roberts's diary: "It has been the hob- 
by of the latter (Peucinians) to claim all the religion and decency and be- 
queath vice and immorality to the Athenaeans. The Athenaeans, however, 
make their own bargains and are not such dupes as to receive the character 
which the very good Peucinians would grant willingly to them." 65 The 
Greek letter fraternities, when they came to be established in the 1840s, 
were not anti-religious, although as they became stronger they did become 
a force in transforming customs and practices at the College. 

There did exist for a time at the College a most secret organization 
whose aims seem remote from those of the Praying Circle. This was the 
"Dole of the Raxian," the name taken from the Hebrew Raxis, signifying 
brotherly love. Its emblem was a skull and crossbones, with the motto 
"Liberty, Truth, Death to Traitors." Its object was to foster and increase 
good will, happiness, and brotherly love among its members. Founded in 
1826, the society never had a large membership. In 1832 the offices 
became vacant, but the society was resurrected in 1845. A new constitution 
was adopted and officers elected. But within a few years interest declined, 
and the last minutes in its record book are dated August 5, 1859. 66 

Religious Societies 61 

In comparing the College of 1825, when he left Brunswick, with the 
College in 1850, when he returned to teach, Professor Calvin E. Stowe 
wrote later: 

To me the whole religious atmosphere of the place was as different 
from what it had been twenty-five years before, as June is from 
November. It was perfectly delightful to me, and though exceedingly 
depressed in health, I never had a more uniform religious enjoyment 
than while I was in Brunswick during the years 1850, '51 and '52. If 
the religious character of the College gains as much from the years 
1850 to '75 as it did from 1825 to '50, it will be all that the most ar- 
dent friends of the Lord Jesus can reasonably hope for before the 
millennium. 67 

What had produced this remarkable change? The able and religiously 
oriented leadership of Presidents Allen and Woods, building on the foun- 
dations and course set by Presidents McKeen and Appleton, no doubt 
played an important part. They had strong support from members of the 
faculty and the Boards. In September 1831, the presidency of the College 
was vacant, pending the decision on the status of President Allen, who had 
been removed from office as a result of an act passed by the state 
legislature providing that college presidents should be elected annually 
and requiring for election or re-election a two-thirds majority of the votes 
cast by the Boards. The act also ended the practice of regarding diploma 
fees as presidential perquisites. President Allen had aroused the opposition 
of some members of the Boards, and as there was no procedure for im- 
peachment, they sought to obtain his removal through an act of the 
legislature. The Boards voted to abide by the law, but President Allen was 
not so easily cowed. He moved his family to Newburyport, Massachusetts, 
and brought suit for the recovery of his salary and fees in the Federal Cir- 
cuit Court. The suit was tried in Portland in 1833, and in the case of Allen 
v. McKeen (the latter being the treasurer of the college) Justice Story ruled 
that Allen could recover his fees but not his salary. However, the court 
went further and ruled that the action of the legislature in respect to the 
College was unconstitutional, in effect freeing Bowdoin from the control of 
the legislature and restoring President Allen to his office. 68 

At the time when the president was removed from office, the faculty 
voted that the person "who officiates at chapel, in view of the amount of 
duties required should receive additional compensation." 69 Moreover, they 
taxed themselves to provide this compensation, for it was considered an 
obligation of the faculty as a whole to carry on the religious services. On 
September 4, 1832, they voted: "that the services of the chapel and sab- 
bath be assigned to Professor Newman, for which he is to receive a com- 
pensation of $200 a year, each member of the Executive Government pay- 
ing one sixth part of the same; providing, however, that any Professor is at 

62 Religion at Bowdoin College: A History 

liberty to officiate himself instead of paying his proportion of the aforesaid 
sum." 70 The Boards must have known of this arrangement when they voted 
the next day that a committee was "to distribute the duties formerly per- 
formed by the President of the College among the other officers of the col- 
lege and said officers of the college be required to perform such duties as 
shall be assigned to them respectively by said committee." 71 

A remarkable unity prevailed about Bowdoin being a Christian col- 
lege and religion being a vital factor in education. In general the students 
accepted this religious focus of the College; 72 they participated in religious 
societies and supported their activities. While the students were not always 
jubilant about required attendance at the many chapel and Sunday ser- 
vices, there was also no great hostility or rebellion. This change in religious 
atmosphere which Professor Stowe noted at the College was also a reflec- 
tion of the society of which the College was a part. In spite of oft-repeated 
aphorisms about "ivy towers" and "the outside world," a college mirrors 
the climate of opinion and the life of the people from which it draws its 
clientele and support. There was a general religious revival in the United 
States in the first half of the nineteenth century, and this was manifest also 
at Bowdoin. Nothing showed this more than the efforts and interest that 
went into building a new chapel for the College. It was conceived as being 
the very center of Bowdoin. 


The Building of the New Chapel 

Seven years after the chapel had been moved to higher ground and 
turned to face Massachusetts Hall, the Boards undertook to replace it. On 
February 23, 1825, a joint committee of inquiry was appointed "to prepare 
and present at the next meeting, a plan for a chapel of brick and to ascer- 
tain in the most effectual manner for what sum it can be built and report 
same." 1 The committee apparently did its work promptly, for the next 
September another joint committee was appointed to apply to the next 
legislature for a grant to enable the College to erect a new chapel. At the 
same time a building committee was appointed "with authority to consider 
and adopt a plan for a new chapel, with suitable public rooms and to 
determine the site of the same and in case the Legislature shall lend the 
necessary aid to erect said chapel, the ... committee shall forthwith pro- 
ceed after giving further notice in two of the public newspapers for pro- 
posals to make the necessary arrangements and contracts for erecting said 
chapel." 2 The Trustees also voted at the same meeting to enlarge the old 
chapel by adding eighteen feet to the southerly end, and that the second 
floor of this addition "be finished in proper form as a place for the meeting 
of this board." A sum not exceeding three hundred dollars was to be ap- 
propriated for this purpose. The Overseers did not concur, and the vote 
was dismissed. 3 Instead another committee was appointed to study the 
enlargement of the old chapel. 

The College petitioned the legislature for funds, first for $9,000 to be 
paid in three installments, then for $5,000, and President Allen suggested 
further that the legislature might be asked to grant a township of land 
which the College could then sell. The president argued: "We need a 
chapel for various reasons; for convenience of the College and Medical 
School, for security against fire, for protection of the Library against 
water. At present the Medical students have no room to attend religious 
services in the chapel, nor is the chapel sufficiently large for exhibitions. 
The library is now hardly large enough to contain the books and it is often 
inundated with water by reason of the junction of the cupola with the 
descending roof." The legislature, however, could not be persuaded to 
make a grant. 4 

64 Religion at Bowdoin College: A History 

At the meetings of the Boards in September 1827, the Trustees voted 
that it "is expedient to erect a building for a chapel and other public uses." 
The Overseers did not concur, and a conference committee was appointed. 
This resulted in a more positive proposal to appoint a committee to 
prepare a plan, make estimates of expense, and choose a site for "a 
building for a chapel and other public uses and to report at the next 
meeting of the board." 5 The committee never considered the erection of a 
one-story building, but like the existing chapel it was to house the library 
and "a room for the paintings more suited to their character and value and 
better adapted to a favorable arrangement for exhibition of them." They 
foresaw the expansion of the student body and the necessity of building 
new dormitories. "This idea," they stated in their report, "has had its in- 
fluence upon the opinion of the committee in fixing on the proper site for 
the Chapel; and their opinion is that it should be erected on a line with the 
present college buildings or Halls, fronting west, and south of these Halls 
at a suitable distance, so that when two more Colleges or Halls shall have 
been erected on the same line and fronting in the same direction, the 
Chapel shall form the center building." 6 They recommended that the 
chapel be built of brick according to the plan drawn up by Mr. Melcher, a 
Brunswick contractor. They did not give an estimate of the cost of the 
building in their report. This proposal for the site of a new chapel was a 
change in previous plans, where it had been designed that the dormitories 
(at that time called colleges) should be in line, while the new chapel was to 
be built somewhat to the south and west of them, in line with Massa- 
chusetts Hall and the old chapel. 7 The problem of building a new chapel 
and dormitory remained quiescent for the next few years, during which the 
vexing problem of the control of the state legislature over the College was 
clarified. 8 

With President Allen restored to office (1833) and the College again 
carrying on in normal fashion, the need for a new chapel, more space for 
the library and the gallery of paintings, more lecture and classroom space, 
a place for the Boards to meet, and a new dormitory was stressed by the 
Visiting Committee in its 1834 report. 9 Although the membership of the 
Visiting Committee was changed each year, the committee for 1835 agreed 
with its predecessor about the need to build a new chapel and recom- 
mended that a committee be appointed to report on a plan for the chapel. 
This recommendation was accepted by the Boards, and a committee con- 
sisting of President Allen, the two secretaries of the Boards, and the 
treasurer of the College was authorized to procure the aid of an architect. 
On September 7, 1836, the very day the Boards were meeting again, the 
committee received the plan for a chapel. President Allen drafted the 
report for the committee, saying they approved the plan but of course had 
not had time to get estimates. They believed, however, that it would cost 
from eight to ten thousand dollars. Their report is interesting and 

The Building of the New Chapel 65 

noteworthy, for it is more exact about the location of the chapel. They 
adopted the general recommendation made by the committee in 1828 and 

They are of opinion, that the chapel should be placed one hundred 
feet south of Maine Hall, and project equally in front and in rear of 
Maine Hall, standing with the cupola in front. The next college 
building for the residence of students, they think, should be placed 
one hundred feet south of the chapel, when built; and such a new 
college building would cost about twelve thousand dollars. 

In behalf of the committee. 
Sept. 7, 1836 Wm. Allen, President 10 

This report was accepted by the Boards. n 

For the next two years nothing was done about carrying forward the 
building, but the project was not forgotten. In 1833 the Trustees had voted 
forty dollars for putting a stove in the chapel, which up to then had been 
unheated. 12 The Overseers did not concur with the vote, but a stove ap- 
parently did make its appearance. The library had a stove which was 
heated during the hour assigned to receipt and delivery of books. The 
librarian, in his report for 1838, not only called attention to the danger of 
fire from this stove, but more especially from the stove in the chapel. Here 
"great fires" were built for morning and evening prayers, and after one was 
kindled it "was left entirely to itself." This was "tenfold more dangerous" 
than the stove in the library. 13 

It was clear that something needed to be done about providing more 
space, and this was one of the first problems tackled by President Woods 
when he assumed office in September 1839, on the generally welcomed 
resignation of President Allen. In October 1839 he inserted in the news- 
papers an invitation for friends of Bowdoin to meet at Brunswick and con- 
sult about raising funds for a new building. The meeting was held in the 
college library on October 30, 1839, and Robert P. Dunlap, Class of 1815, 
was appointed chairman and Asa Cummings secretary. After "free con- 
sultation and an explicit statement of the reasons which render another 
College edifice necessary," they adopted resolutions expressing the need of 
a building to contain a chapel, a library, and a gallery of paintings. As 
"the finances of the College do not admit of an expenditure for this ob- 
ject," an "appeal should be made to the benevolence of the friends of the 
College." A committee of twelve was appointed to carry forward the pro- 
ject. It consisted of "Gen. Wm. King, Rev. President Woods, Hon. R. P. 
Dunlap, Robert H. Gardiner, Esq., C. S. Daveis, William Richardson, 
John D. Kisman, Honorable Daniel Goodenow, Hon. Alfred Johnson, and 
John Appleton." The list, headed by General King, is the first indication 
we have of the latter 's interest in the erection of the chapel which for a 
brief time was to bear his name. 14 

66 Religion at Bowdoin College: A History 

A very succinct statement of "Reasons for the erection of a Building to 
contain a Chapel, a Library room and a Gallery of Paintings" had been 
drawn up preparatory to the meeting. It stressed that the old chapel was 
not large enough for the accommodation of students at morning and even- 
ing prayers, that exhibitions by students had to be held in one of the village 
churches, and that the chapel could not be heated without incurring con- 
siderable risk of losing the library, which was over the chapel, by fire. The 
crowding of library shelves and gallery walls was mentioned. Providing a 
new gallery would also permit the enlarging of the existing cabinet for the 
exhibition of minerals and shells. Over 2,000 specimens had recently been 
received, which were now stored in boxes. There must have been some 
question at the meeting about the advisability of launching on a fund- 
raising project. At least President Woods received such words of caution in 
several letters written to him. The suspension of specie payments and many 
bank failures had caused a scare throughout the business community. John 
Appleton, Class of 1822, wrote him from Bangor: "Those able are unwill- 
ing and those willing are unable — from the pressure of the times to render 
you any more than good wishes." 15 A subscription paper combining por- 
tions of the minutes of the friends of Bowdoin meeting and the reasons for 
the erection of a new chapel was prepared and sent out by members of the 
committee to various individuals. 16 

The difficult financial situation of the country apparently delayed the 
solicitation of funds. The Visiting Committee in 1841 stated that the 
absolute necessity of erecting a chapel was obvious to all. If the number of 
students should increase as anticipated they would have to "attend prayers 
in sections or worship in a crowded manner wholly inconsistent with due 
solemnity and decorum." 17 The college finances, however, were in a 
precarious state, incurring a $1,000 annual deficit. The Boards appointed 
a retrenchment committee to consider reductions in salaries and see where 
instruction could be turned over to tutors and the services of professors 
dispensed with. The faculty was requested to devote their winter vacation 
to procuring subscriptions and donations to aid the College, "principally 
with a view to obtain means for the erection of a building for a chapel, 
library, and gallery of paintings." 18 The faculty took this assignment 
seriously and secured subscriptions of about $6,000 to be paid over the 
next four years. The subscriptions, however, were never all paid, and in 
the end only a little over $2,000 was realized from the 1842 efforts. 19 In this 
financial crisis we have the first mention of "Bowdoin Women" coming to 
the aid of the College. The Visiting Committee in 1 842 gallantly reported: 

We are further advised that our female friends have taken measures 
to aid the same object [raising funds], by appropriating to our use 
the proceeds of the sale of beautiful articles wrought by their own fair 
hands, directed by the elegance and taste, for which the sex is distin- 

The Building of the New Chapel 67 

guished. If the amount thus obtained should not fall short of their 
expectations, it may come up to near a thousand dollars. The ladies 
fund is to be applied to the erection of the chapel, but may be bor- 
rowed for other purposes, until wanted for its proper destination. 20 

The committee estimated the cost of a new chapel and dormitory at 
$22,000, of which sum $10,000 would be necessary for a new dormitory. As 
the College was paying out nearly $1,000 a year for room rent, the 
dormitory could well be financed by borrowing the money at 6 percent. 

The Visiting Committee the following year again stressed the need for 
a new chapel. This time it reported that about $4,000 had been received 
for the chapel and $500 from female friends. 21 Apparently the sale of fancy 
work had taken a slump. Litigation about the rights of the College to cer- 
tain properties entailed to it under the will of James Bowdoin made it dif- 
ficult to raise funds. 22 It was generally thought that this might be a large 
sum and would provide all the money needed. President Woods, however, 
in his report, stressed the need to go ahead with raising funds for a chapel 
without waiting for the settlement of the Bowdoin estate. The Boards in 
1842 and 1843 voted that the Building Committee should go ahead when it 
was certain that subscriptions sufficient "to cover the expense of such a 
building, not to exceed fifteen thousand dollars," were at hand. 23 The 
receipt of $31,696.69 from the negotiated settlement of the Bowdoin 
estate, while it did not extricate the College from all its financial 
difficulties, did provide some funds for various projects. 24 

The Building Committee applied to Richard Upjohn of New York, 
the most renowned church architect of the time, about plans for a chapel. 
At the end of January or beginning of February 1844, President Woods 
and Joseph McKeen, the treasurer of the College, were in New York to con- 
sult with Upjohn, having a letter of introduction from Robert H. Gar- 
diner, of Gardiner, Maine. 25 Upjohn was troubled by the problem of 
designing a building "large enough between those great College Halls to 
appear respectable" and stay within the appropriation voted by the 
Boards. He was also concerned about the material to be used in its con- 
struction and had about "concluded that the building must be of brick." 
Mr. McKeen noted in a letter of February 9, 1844, to R.H. Gardiner, that 
"the President appeared to be more reconciled to it [use of brick] than I 
expected he would be." 26 In this letter McKeen drew a sketch of the design 
which Upjohn had in mind, and it was subsequently not basically changed. 
It shows clearly how greatly the need for providing library space affected 
the plans for a chapel. 

On March 9, 1844, President Woods reported in a letter to Charles S. 
Daveis that good progress had been made "in obtaining a plan for the 

Chapel while I was in New York " 27 The committee of the Boards had 

made it an "invariable condition" that the proposed plans for a chapel "be 

68 Religion at Bowdoin College: A History 

capable of execution within the sum appropriated by the Trustees." Presi- 
dent Woods believed a chapel in either Gothic or Romanesque style could 
be erected for $15,000. He was "driven, though very reluctantly, to the 
conclusions, that we cannot afford to build of granite." Upjohn had pro- 
mised to come to Brunswick sometime in April, and President Woods set 
about alerting various persons to meet with him. Upjohn, however, was 
unable to come to Brunswick on schedule. He was a busy man, and as Mr. 
Gardiner wrote to President Woods: "The truth [is] that Upjohn has more 
business than he can well accomplish in fact or it is wanted. He is now 
building 5 new churches and is attending some others and doing sundry 
small jobs." 28 Upjohn sent along his plans and in August promised to come 
to Brunswick in a week or two. It was not until the first days of September 
that he arrived just in time for the meeting of the Boards on September 
third and fourth. At that time he also consulted with representatives of the 
First Parish about plans for erecting a new meeting house. 29 

Meanwhile President Woods had continued his efforts to raise money 
for the chapel. In June 1844 he approached Mr. Amos Lawrence, a philan- 
thropist in Boston, and asked him to get in touch with the Appleton family 
about calling the new chapel the Appleton Chapel. Mr. Lawrence pro- 
mised to give $1,000 if the chapel was so named, but he was unable to 
interest the Appleton family in the project. Professor Alpheus Spring 
Packard, son-in-law of President Jesse Appleton, was an intermediary in 
this proposal. The Appletons pointedly gave no reason for their refusal, 
but Professor Packard and Mr. Lawrence speculated it was because the 
Appletons were prejudiced against the College in the dispute over the Bow- 
doin estate, and that Bowdoin "was an institution in which Boston people 
have no special interest." As Mr. Lawrence wrote to President Woods, he 
supposed the "Appleton Chapel will have to be cut down." 30 

Having failed to tap the textile fortunes of Boston, Lawrence, and 
Lowell, President Woods approached General William King about calling 
the new chapel King Chapel, as many friends of Mr. King desired. 31 He in- 
formed King of his failure to enlist support from the Appletons and then 
went on to say that several of King's friends had "intimated it might be in- 
convenient for you to make an immediate donation, but that it might meet 
your views, to leave to the College in the ultimate disposition of your pro- 
perty, such a sum in real estate or otherwise as in connexion with other 
smaller sums which might be raised in the interval, would authorize the 
Boards at their next meeting to direct that we should proceed with the 
chapel according to Upjohn's design, under the name of King's Chapel." 
Woods felt that "such a promise of future payment would be as satisfactory 
to the Boards as an immediate bequest, since they can easily command the 
ready money necessary for erecting the chapel." President Woods in his ap- 
peal did not forget Mrs. King, for he wrote: "Mrs. King also I trust would 
not be displeased to see in Maine another King's Chapel, not inferior to 

The Building of the New Chapel 69 

that in which she worshipped in her younger days." President Woods of- 
fered to meet with Mr. King some evening and discuss the matter further. 
Just what General King's reaction was to the appeal at this time is uncer- 
tain. On August 21, 1844, President Woods wrote to Robert H. Gardiner 
urging his attendance at the coming board meetings, "especially with 
reference of the right arrangement of the part of the Report of that Com- 
mittee relating to the Chapel." Woods rejoiced that Gardiner was pleased 
with the plan of the chapel and wrote: "Though we have not as yet ob- 
tained any definite provision for the plans necessary to complete it, I do 
not despair of being able in some way to effect this object." 32 

At the meeting of the Boards in September 1844, the Visiting Com- 
mittee reported that the appropriation of $15,000 which the Boards had 
made conditionally for the erection of a new chapel could now be made 
absolute, thanks to funds from the Bowdoin estate. They went on to say: 

The Building Committee proceeded according to their instructions 
to procure a plan for the Chapel, and applied for this purpose to Mr. 
Upjohn of New York, whose reputation as an architect is unrivalled. 
The Plan furnished by him, and which is exhibited to the Boards, is 
thought by competent judges, to sustain fully his reputation. The 
order adopted by him is the Romanesque, which is distinguished 
from the Gothic, by greater simplicity, and is consequently capable 
of being executed at less cost. This is the same style as that adopted 
by him in the "Church of the Pilgrims" which he is now erecting in 
Brookline, and which has been highly commended. His plan pro- 
vides for a Chapel 90 ft in length, 28 in breadth, and 56 in height, 
occupying the central part, and lighted from the second story, for the 
College Library, and a Gallery for the Paintings in the rear; for two 
Society libraries in the wings; and for various offices over the side en- 
trances. After careful estimates, it is thought this large edifice may 
be erected of granite furnished from a neighboring quarry for about 
$21, 000. 33 

The committee felt that the additional $6,000 beyond the $15,000 
appropriated by the Boards could easily be raised. It recommended "to 
expend so much of the appropriation of $15,000 as may be necessary to 
complete the outside of the building in the course of the present year." The 
committee went on to propose: 

And in consideration of the valuable services of the Hon. William 
King, as President of the Convention which formed the constitution 
of this State, and as its First Governor, in promoting the course of 
science and learning within the State, and of his high regard for the 
welfare of the College the Committee recommends that the Chapel 
when erected, be called and known by the name of 

"King Chapel" 34 

TO Religion at Bowdoin College: A History 

The Boards followed the recommendations of the Visiting Commit- 
tee, accepting Upjohn's plans for the chapel and directing the Building 
Committee "to proceed immediately to the erection of the same according 
to said plans, and to have the outside completed by the first day of 
September next." 35 They also voted to call the new building "King 
Chapel," although they as yet had in hand no written statement from Mr. 
King in regard to a gift. This was in line with the precedent set at the time 
of the founding of the College, when the Boards gave the name of Bowdoin 
to the institution and only later received the patronage of James Bowdoin. 
The Boards were always concerned lest they give the impression they were 
granting an honor in return for a monetary consideration. 

The Building Committee lost no time in starting construction, and 
Mr. I. R. True of Richmond was soon at work on the foundation of the 
chapel. By November 11 the foundations were "so far advanced that 
another week of good weather will enable us to do all the work that is 
necessary to an early start in the spring." 36 

Meanwhile, Mr. King took his time about completing formal 
arrangements about his proposed gift of $6,000 to the College. On 
November 11 and again on November 25, 1844, President Woods wrote 
Mr. Gardiner asking him to intercede with his friend Mr. Evans to get in 
touch with General King. 37 "Nothing," President Woods thought, "would 
be as likely to induce General King to carry his good purposes into 
immediate effect as a letter from Mr. Evans, such as was talked of between 
us, when I was recently at Gardiner. There is danger that otherwise he may 
put off making the arrangement until it will be too late." No record is at 
hand of intervention by Mr. Evans, but in early June 1845, President 
Woods again visited General King "and found that he had made up his 
mind to bring the matter [of a gift] to a definite settlement at the time of 
the laying of the corner stone." 38 In order to do this more effectively, King 
wanted the laying of the cornerstone put off a few weeks to give him time to 
sell some of his townships so that he could "lay down the money on the cor- 
ner stone." "If he should fail to make the sale he would set a portion to be 
deeded the College on that occasion." At all events, President Woods 
reported, "he will take pains to secure to the College some five or six thou- 
sand dollars before that time, to be announced at the ceremony of laying 
the corner stone." The cornerstone laying was accordingly delayed until 
July 16, 1845. The exact date on which General King did get around to 
acting is uncertain, for the letter promising a gift is undated. However, in 
his address at the cornerstone laying, the Honorable Charles S. Daveis 
publicly thanked General King on behalf of the Trustees and Overseers for 
the disposition "that you have this day given" to aid the College in com- 
pleting the chapel. 39 

General King wrote — in line with the original proposal made to him 
by President Woods: 

The Building of the New Chapel 71 

To the President and Trustees of Bowdoin College 
Gentlemen — 

Having understood that the sum appropriated by the Boards for 
the new College Chapel is not sufficient to finish it, and being 
desirous that this noble work should not be unnecessarily delayed for 
want of means, therewith enclose to you for this object my security 
for the sum of six thousand dollars. 

The interest I feel in the cause of education in general, and 
especially in the welfare of Bowdoin College, having been connected 
with its affairs for more than forty years, leads me to embrace the 
present occasion to congratulate you, Gentlemen, upon the present 
good condition of the College, and its animating prospects. 

Much has already been done by it to qualify our young men for 
the different departments of the public service, and there is reason to 
hope, that with the higher advantages it will possess when the im- 
provements now in progress are completed still more will be ac- 
complished by it for the best interests of the State. 

With Respects and esteem 
Your friend 
William King 

The original of this letter is in Special Collections in the Hawthorne- 
Longfellow Library at the College, and there is a copy of it, again un- 
dated, in the Trustee Records of September 3, 1845. 40 The Boards placed 
the letter on file and voted: 

That the Trustees and Overseers of Bowdoin College return their 
thanks to the Hon. William King for the liberal donation in aid of 
the erection of the chapel called by his name. That they accept the 
same and will proceed to complete the chapel out of the resources of 
the college, to be reimbursed by the avails of the donation before 
referred to. 41 

President Woods applied to the Masonic lodge in Brunswick to make 
arrangements for laying, "according to Masonic Form," the cornerstone of 
the new chapel. On June 28, 1845, the lodge acceded to this invitation and 
appointed a committee of three, Robert P. Dunlap, Abner B. Thompson, 
and Isaac Lincoln, to make the necessary preliminary arrangements. It 
was further voted to request the grand master to cause a "Grand Lodge to 
be held in Brunswick at such time" as the College might designate for the 
laying of the corner. A committee of five was named to receive such 
Masonic groups as would attend the Grand Lodge and participate in the 
ceremonies. It was arranged that Mr. Dunlap would actually perform the 
ceremony. 42 

The cornerstone laying was designed to be a gala occasion. The facul- 
ty gave an adjournment to the senior class on the day before the corner- 

72 Religion at Bowdoin College: A History 

stone laying so that they could erect a triumphal arch decorated with 
evergreen on the walk leading from the chapel to the front road. That 
evening the students staged an informal celebration, marching under the 
triumphal arch to the site of the new chapel. Here Charles Phelps Roberts, 
a senior, delivered a short speech and recited a poem beginning: 

Till you fix the corner stone, 
It won't erect itself alone 

"After a great deal of tumult, hilarity and dancing the crowd dispersed to 
their separate abodes in expectation of the great day of the laying of the 
cornerstone." 43 

On the morning of July 16, 1845, a steamboat brought many Masons 
and others from Portland to the wharf in Maquoit Bay. It was a beautiful 
warm day. At about two-thirty the Masons formed their procession at the 
local Masonic Hall and marched to the campus. Here they were joined by 
President Woods and other college officers, and the procession marched to 
the chapel. The students led the way as escorts, followed by the president 
and other college officials; then came the Trustees and higher dignitaries 
of the Masonic Order, followed by the Portland Brass Band, the Grand 
Lodge of Maine, the Boston Brigade Band, the Knights Templar of 
Boston, the Brunswick Band, and last of all the Brunswick lodge. The 
Masons were all in full regalia and carried numerous banners. Staging had 
been built and "many spectators were seated on the building stones which 
were heaped about." Some of the Knights Templar had managed to bring 
along a jug with "wine of refreshment" which they kept beneath the seats 
and did not fail "to partake of." 44 

President Woods began the ceremonies by reading Psalm 122: "I was 
glad when they said unto me...," and then made some opening remarks. 
There followed a prayer by Rev. Mr. Dwight of Portland, after which 
President Woods "alluded briefly to the munificence of the distinguished 
gentleman" who had enabled the College to erect the chapel. According to 
the Maine Democrat, he then spoke of the circumstances under which the 
Ancient Order of Masons had been invited to lay the cornerstone, observ- 
ing in substance, 

That in the old world, for many centuries of the Christian era, all the 
great edifices, civil and ecclesiastical, and especially the great Gothic 
Cathedrals, have been devised and erected, from base to spire, by the 
ancient fraternity of free-masons; and that in our times and country 
the corner stones of all our great national Monuments, from the 
Capitol at Washington downwards, had been laid by their hands; 
and that in compliance with this long established custom and out of 
regard to the wishes of some of our patrons and friends, an invitation 
had been extended to the Grand Lodge in this State to lay the Corner 

The Building of the New Chapel 73 

Stone of King Chapel; that this invitation had been promptly and 
courteously accepted by the Grand Lodge, and that we were happy 
on this occasion to commit this work, as we then did, to the hands of 
those to whom of right and by custom it belonged. 45 

There is no need to examine critically the historical accuracy of President 
Woods's statement. No doubt it was "out of regard to the wishes of some 
friends and donors" that the Masons were invited to take over the 
ceremonies. General King had been the first grand master of the lodge in 
Maine and ex-Governor Dunlap, who was a member of the building com- 
mittee, was a member of the Brunswick lodge, as were many other local 
friends of the College. 

"After various Masonic formalities, the Most Worshipful Grand 
Master John T. Paine... assisted by ex-Governor Dunlap proceeded to lay 
the Corner Stone." In the small tin box nineteen inches long that was en- 
cased in the cornerstone, there was placed a Bible, the Constitutions of the 
United States and the State of Maine, the laws of Bowdoin College, a trien- 
nial catalogue, a current catalogue, catalogues of the Athenian and Peuci- 
nian Societies, and two silver plates. On one of the plates was inscribed in 
Latin the names of the president and the professors, the date, and other 
particulars as to the edifice, on the other a Masonic Memorial. "Corn, 
wine, and oil were poured upon the stone, the Grand Master repeating, — 
Corn, Wine, and Oil, emblematical of Health, Plenty, and Peace — and 
may the all-bounteous author of Nature bless the inhabitants of this place, 
with all the comforts of life — assist in the erection and completion of this 
building, protect the workmen against any accident, and long preserve this 
structure from decay, and grant us all a needed supply [of] the Corn of 
Nourishment, the Wine of Refreshment, and the Oil of Joy." The square 
was then applied in all directions, and a Masonic hymn sung. 46 The cor- 
nerstone was laid, and the Honorable Charles S. Daveis, a member of Bow- 
doin's second class and an influential leading member of the Board of 
Trustees, then gave a long flowery oration on the history of the College, 
devoting a good part of it to a description of Gothic and Romanesque 
architecture and thanking General King for his generosity. 47 

The day was hot, the ceremony drawn out, and it is not surprising 
that students wandered off to inspect the wax statuary exhibit which was 
showing in Brunswick for a week. Finally, at about six o'clock, the events 
were over except for the final processional exit. The steamer was supposed 
to return to Portland at five o'clock, but by the time the passengers arrived 
"the fog was so dense that the boat could not leave, to the great disappoint- 
ment of the passengers." 48 

The erection of the chapel went well during the next year. 49 The 
granite was obtained from a local quarry, and masons from New York did 
the work. The Visiting Committee, in September 1846, reported that they 

74 Religion at Bowdoin College: A History 

were pleased with the progress that had been made but noted that an addi- 
tional $10,000 would be necessary to finish the interior. Faced by the need 
for more money, the Boards, nevertheless, voted "that the outside of King 
Chapel be completed forthwith including doors, a gutter agreeable to the 
plan of Richard Upjohn, but not including the windows and excepting the 
towers above the tops of windows, but be protected from the weather and 
that the sum of $3,650 in addition to the $21,000 already appropriated be 
appropriated for the above." 50 They further authorized the president and 
the Committee of Finance to proceed to obtain further funds for the com- 
pletion of the chapel and the use of the College. Realizing that there would 
still be money needed to complete the chapel, the Boards authorized the 
Building Committee "to expend a sum not exceeding $10,000 in addition 
to the sums already appropriated [$24,650] in completion of King Chapel, 
provided the same can be procured from other sources than the present 
college property." 51 

President Woods had anticipated the need of a fund drive and had 
asked Professor Upham to visit Boston and certain other places to see if 
funds could be raised. On August 1 , 1846, the latter reported on his efforts: 

I am sorry to say I have obtained nothing. But, I think I have ascer- 
tained this, that the Congregational Denomination would be found 
ready as a body to meet all the reasonable demands of the College, 
beginning with the sum of fifty thousand dollars, if they felt a little 
more confident as to its denominational position. The Baptists a few 
years since made an effort to raise 50,000 Dollars for Waterville Col- 
lege, the Congregationalists of Maine would cheerfully, I think, 
make a similar effort and would be likely to succeed in it, if they 
could be made to see that the responsibility of sustaining Bowdoin 
College rests upon them, much in the same way and for the same 
reasons that the responsibility of sustaining Waterville College rests 
upon the Baptists. I have no doubt myself that a majority of both 
Boards, differing as they conscientiously do in religious sentiments, 
have come to the conclusion that under the force of circumstances 
now apparently uncontrollable, Bowdoin College, in a few years, will 
take the position of the Congregational College of Maine, in the same 
sense and on the general principles that Waterville is known as the 
College of the Baptists of Maine, as Yale and Trinity are known 
respectively as the College of the Episcopalians [Trinity] and Con- 
gregationalists [Yale] of Connecticut and Harvard is known as the 
College or University of the Unitarians of Massachusetts. I suppose 
that they believe such is the tendency of things; and that they are 
ready to acquiesce in it, by means of gradual and conciliatory 
movements. Perhaps I am mistaken. But if such is really the feeling 
of both Boards, as I suppose it is, and if this feeling can be a little 
more definitely ascertained and authenticated so as to be laid before 
some of the leading men in the denomination, I suppose that the 

The Building of the New Chapel 75 

money can be raised. And at present I do not know where else to look 
for it. At your suggestion I have thus laid the subject before you in 
writing, that you might consider of it and lay it before some members 
of the Boards. If nothing can be done, I hope no offence will be 
given, as I am certain that none is intended. 52 

This letter has been quoted at length, for there is no other document 
which explains so well the origin and intent of the "Declaration" on Bow- 
doin's relation to Congregationalism. 

With the authorization of the Boards to proceed with the solicitation 
of funds, a statement was drawn up and submitted to various members of 
the Boards for their reaction to it. This paper did not meet with general 
acceptance and was particularly objected to by George Evans, Class of 
1815, of Gardiner, long an Overseer of the College and recently made a 
Trustee. Professor Upham went up to see him and requested him to alter 
the paper so as to make it unobjectionable. On the basis of the former 
draft, Evans sketched out a statement and took it to Robert H. Gardiner, 
another Trustee, who made several alterations. Both men returned to Mr. 
Evans's office and "conversed with [Professor Upham] freely and fully 
upon the whole subject." One of Evans's chief objections to the original 
draft was not that it gave control of the College "to the Orthodox Con- 
gregationalists; but because it gave that control expressly, for the con- 
sideration of fifty thousand dollars to be contributed by the denomination 
to the college." He "objected to the idea of a bargain or contract which he 
deemed inadmissable, but proposed to accomplish precisely the same ob- 
ject by means of a Declaration or expression of opinion binding in honor 
the parties and effectually securing the end desired." Professor Upham, 
who had spent a whole Saturday discussing the proposed changes with Mr. 
Gardiner and Mr. Evans, was in the end quite satisfied with the suggested 
alterations. The following Monday Mr. Evans drew up a sketch of what he 
proposed to say and showed it to Mr. Gardiner, who again made a few 
alterations. A clear copy was then made by Mr. Evans of the statement. 53 It 
soon came to be known as the Declaration and was circulated to the 
Trustees and Overseers. It was signed by eleven of the Trustees, three 
refusing, and by thirty-four Overseers. 54 The text of the statement reads as 


Whereas, It has been deemed desirable by some of the friends of 
Bowdoin College that its position in relation to the religious instruc- 
tion which shall be given in the college, and in regard to the 
denominational character which it shall profess, should be clearly 
understood, and also that some reasonable assurance of its future 
policy should be furnished to those who are disposed to contribute to 
its support: now, the undersigned, members of the trustees and 
overseers of the college, do hereby declare, — 

76 Religion at Bowdoin College: A History 

First, That they regard it as a permanent principle in the 
administration of the college that science and literature are not to be 
separated from morals and religion. Against such a separation the 
charter of the college has guarded, by requiring that its funds shall 
be appropriated, not only for improvement in the "liberal arts and 
sciences," but also in "such a manner as shall most effectually pro- 
mote virtue and piety." 

Second, That they are of opinion this object can be most fully 
accomplished, and at the same time the pecuniary ability of the col- 
lege increased, by a known and established denominational 
character and position, whereby the college may be entitled to 
appeal for support to some particular portion of the community, by 
whom the corresponding obligation to afford it is recognized. 

Third, That although there is nothing expressly said in the col- 
lege charter which requires it to have any particular denominational 
position; yet, from its foundation, it has been and still is of the 
Orthodox Congregational denomination, as indicated by the state of 
the religious community in Maine when the college was established, 
by the religious instruction which has heretofore been given, and by 
the opinions of its former and present presidents, and of a large por- 
tion of those who have been engaged in its government and instruc- 

Fourth, That they consider any attempt to modify or change the 
character which it has so long maintained, unwise and inexpedient, 
and they have no purpose or expectation of making such an attempt. 

Fifth, That in their opinion the boards of trustees and overseers 
and the academic Faculty should be composed of those who are com- 
petent and willing to perform their respective duties in a manner not 
to impair or restrain, or in any degree conflict with the moral and 
religious instruction which is designed to be given in the college, in 
harmony with its denominational character as herein defined, care 
being taken that such instruction be given by officers of that religious 

Sixth, That although no purpose or expectation is entertained 
of attempting any change in the character of the college in the 
foregoing particulars, yet if, in the progress of opinions and events, it 
shall result that the "liberal arts and sciences, virtue and piety," can 
be more successfully advanced by some modification or changes, 
nothing herein expressed is to be understood as forbidding the 
trustees and overseers of that day from adopting such measures as 
shall best promote the ends of the college, and the advancement of 
religion and knowledge, a proper regard being always had to the cir- 
cumstances and motives which induced this Declaration. 

Seventh, The undersigned make this Declaration as a basis of 
action, in the expectation and hope that it will secure the highest 
results of literature and piety; and that it will not only furnish a basis 
for pecuniary aid, but will also effect a conciliation of different views 

The Building of the New Chapel 77 

and interests, and thus present the college in the most favorable and 
satisfactory light before the public. 

President Woods was pleased with the Declaration and evaluated it as 

It seems to me all that could be asked by the orthodox friends of the 
College, and as I hear is quite satisfactory to them. It leaves the 
Boards as they are and only provides that the religious instruction of 
the College should be in accordance with the sentiments of the Or- 
thodox Congregationalists, which is certainly best in the present state 
of things. Even in this particular I feel assured from what I see of the 
disposition of many of the Overseers and of the present officers of the 
College, there will be nothing intolerant or exclusive. On the con- 
trary I shall expect to see and think I can see already, in some degree, 
a relaxation of the jealous and bitter spirit of sect; just as far as the 
question of the denominational position of the College is settled. I 
can give you some evidences of this which will not be unpleasant to 
you when I see you. 55 

Armed with this Declaration, Professor Upham, with the aid of 
Reverend John Wallace Ellingwood from Bath, an Overseer, went out to 
solicit funds. The latter was particularly entrusted with the task of collect- 
ing what he could from the subscriptions raised in 1842. These early 
subscriptions became so blended together with those of 1846 that it 
became impossible to separate them, "the subscriptions of 1846 having 
been made with the understanding that the payments of '42 were to be 
allowed as payments in part of their subscriptions in 1846." The trustees, 
on July 1, 1852, directed that an alphabetical list of all donors with their 
titles and places of residence be made. A handsomely bound copy of this 
report shows that Professor Upham led the subscribers with a gift of 
$6,062.50, followed by Mrs. Amos Lawrence with $6,000.00 and Mrs. 
Susan Collins with $5, 000. 00. 56 There was a further subscription of 
$3,100.00 and twelve of $1,000.00 or slightly better. Much of the money, 
however, came from small donors, many from Massachusetts. In all about 
$70,000 was raised, which included $5,725.00 given specifically for the 
chapel, $8,000.00 for the Education Fund, and $17,435.00 for the 
establishment of a professorship in natural and revealed religion. 
Although no record is available of the denominational affiliation of the 
donors, it is clear that they were mostly Congregationalists. This important 
acquisition of funds rescued the College from disaster. It provided money 
for the payment of salaries, the completion of the chapel, the payment of 
loans contracted for the erection of Appleton Hall (in 1843 at a cost of 
$9,000), 57 and the establishment of the Collins Professorship of Natural 
and Revealed Religion, Bowdoin's first endowed professorship. 

78 Religion at Bowdoin College: A History 

While the Declaration was beyond doubt of real significance in raising 
funds for the College, it brought bitter controversy between the Board of 
Trustees and the Overseers. The former was composed of a good number 
of non-orthodox Congregationalists, largely of Unitarian persuasion, while 
the Overseers had a substantial majority of orthodox Congregationalists. If 
the College was to be truly Congregational, in line with the spirit of the 
Declaration, it was held by the Overseers that both boards should have a 
majority of orthodox Congregationalists. 58 A majority of the Trustees held 
to the contrary. Three Trustees had refused to sign the Declaration, and a 
number of the thirteen who did, maintained they had never bound 
themselves to such an extent. They held that "in the choice of president or 
theological professor, they were, as individual signers of the paper, under 
obligation to vote for an orthodox Congregationalist. Beyond this, and 
especially in filling their own vacancies, they felt at liberty to take such a 
course as would, according to their best judgement at the time, be most for 
the interests of the college." 59 Some of the Trustees were also concerned 
that there would be an attempt to restrict appointments of the faculty to 
orthodox Congregationalists. They considered themselves the exponents of 
liberalism. A crisis arose when the Trustees elected new members and the 
Overseers refused to concur; the seats on the Board of Trustees remained 
vacant. Finally, in 1857, the Boards appointed a conference committee 
consisting of five trustees and seven overseers to study the matter; this com- 
mittee met in the vestry of the Congregational church in Brunswick on 
November 24, 1857. The meeting resulted in the "removal of some 
misunderstandings between the two Boards and... the general influence of 
the discussions had been good." 60 A step towards the ending of the crisis 
had already been taken when in 1855 the Trustees elected Josiah Pierce, 
Class of 1818, an orthodox Baptist lawyer and an Overseer since 1831, as a 
member and he was approved by the Overseers. Two orthodox Congrega- 
tional clergymen were elected in 1859, and the subsequent elections of two 
prominent laymen in 1860, William Pitt Fessenden and James Ware Brad- 
bury, stabilized the situation. 61 

With funds at hand, work on the chapel was carried forward. At 
Commencement in 1847 the Visiting Committee could report that the 
exterior of the chapel, with the exception of glazing and the spires, was 
completed. 62 The imminent use of the new building raised the problem of 
what to do with the old chapel. In the spring of 1847 the woodshed had 
been set on fire, and the Visiting Committee, in view of the fact that "a 
taste for material illuminations seems to be on the increase among the 
students," recommended offering the old chapel to the medical faculty on 
condition that they remove it from its present location where it endangered 
the safety of other buildings. 63 This the Boards did by formal vote on 
August 31, 1847, with the proviso that if the medical school did not want 
the old building, it should be sold and removed from the college grounds. 

The Building of the New Chapel 79 

Since the medical school refused the offer, the old chapel was sold and 
removed. 64 

The eastern end of the chapel building was the first to be completed, 
and by Commencement of 1848 the library had been moved into it. That 
year the Trustees met for the first time in the new library. The south wing 
was also far enough along to be used as a temporary chapel. By 1849 the 
north wing was finished sufficiently to be used as a lecture room for the 
professor of mathematics and as a picture gallery. A quantity of black 
walnut lumber had been obtained at favorable terms for the finishing of 
the chapel and was now seasoning. 65 

At Commencement in 1850 the Boards authorized the Building Com- 
mittee to finish the chapel from money already appropriated and from 
donations. They further voted that the east end of the chapel, being used 
as its library, should "be called Banister Hall in honor of Hon. Wm. B. 
Banister, a distinguished citizen of Newburyport — whose friendship and 
influence have been kindly and effectually exercised in behalf of the Col- 
lege." 66 The family, particularly his daughter Mrs. Sarah W. Hale, had 
contributed generously to the funds of the College. The sum of $1,000 hav- 
ing been donated for the completion of the chapel by Mr. Theophilus W. 
Walker, a highly respected merchant of Boston "who associates his 
domestic and filial remembrances with his friendship for the College," the 
Boards authorized that "the room containing paintings shall be known as 
the Walker Building in commemoration of the name and virtue of the 
departed mother of the Donor." 67 Subsequent gifts from the family led to 
the erection of the beautiful Walker Art Building at the College. 

The spires of the building were now completed and the outside 
substantially finished. One troublesome problem remained. Upjohn had 
recommended the use of tin for the roof. It had been used successfully in 
Canada, but local workers were not used to working with this medium. 
The roof leaked badly, and even after repeated attempts to repair it the 
Visiting Committee in 1855 reported that the roof needed to be painted as 
there were small leaks. 68 

Decorating the interior of the chapel caused much concern. Here the 
Building Committee got involved in dicussions with a Mr. Gervase Wheeler 
of New York in regard to decorating the library and the chapel. An agree- 
ment was made with him to submit designs, and the library was decorated 
under his direction. His proposals for the chapel were, however, not 
accepted, and the College broke relations with him. It is clear that he and 
Mr. Upjohn were at odds. In July 1851 Mr. Upjohn drew up designs for the 
interior of the chapel and invited Samuel Melcher of Brunswick, who was 
to do the interior work, to come to New York so he could show the plans to 
him. It was first proposed that the carving of some of the decorative pieces 
be done by men in New York City, but in the end they were "done more 
simply and at much less cost locally. 69 

80 Religion at Bowdoin College: A History 

Lack of available funds had been responsible for the delay in chapel 
construction, largely because the College received none of the principal or 
interest from the promised gift of $6,000 from General King. As early as 
July 1847, although King was still in relatively good health, President 
Woods and Mr. Upham were concerned about the safety of King's dona- 
tion and sought to obtain security for the same. They were assured by the 
Reverend John W. Ellingwood of Bath, who made inquiries, that King's 
note was "perfectly safe for years to come, and that if his affairs were now 
to be wound up, he would pay every debt and leave fifty thousand 
dollars." 70 This optimistic report of King's financial strength did not allay 
President Wood's fears. In July 1850, after King's mental capacities had 
begun to fail, Woods wrote the following letter, to whom is not clear, since 
it is headed only "My dear Sir": 

As the note of General King to the College has now become due; and 
as you have been intimately connected as a friend of the family, in 
the recent arrangements for the settling of his estate, you are hereby 
requested to join the Treasurer of the College in taking such im- 
mediate steps as may be necessary both to serve the interest of the 
College, and at the same time to meet the views and interests of the 
respected family of the honored donors. 71 

Nothing is known of what became of this initiative, but it is clear 
President Woods was attempting to safeguard the interests of the College. 
The recent litigation over the settlement of the Bowdoin estate had not 
been well received by many, and in attempts to secure the King bequest the 
College proceeded very circumspectly. 72 In March 1852 the commission 
which was appointed to settle the King estate decided against the College's 
claims, leaving it, as President Woods wrote to Mr. Upjohn, "eight thou- 
sand dollars minus of the sum [gift plus interest] which we had counted 
upon for completing the chapel. This adverse decision has thrown us into 
the greatest embarrassment and it still remains undecided whether we shall 
proceed to contest in the higher courts, or shall abandon the claim and 
seek elsewhere for the necessary means of finishing our work. If unsuc- 
cessful in either of these efforts we may be obliged to suspend the work 
again before finishing." 73 

Members of the King family were already considering a way out of the 
impasse. On March 26, 1852, James G. King, a nephew, wrote to his aunt, 
Mrs. Porter, in Camden: 

My dear aunt, 

I duly received your favor of 8th ins. and its contents have been 
read with great interest. I think it is due to my Brothers and myself, 
as well as to your impressive and affectionate appeal to us — to say, in 

The Building of the New Chapel 81 

reply, that we do not arrive, at the same conclusion, as yourself in 
regard to the subject presented to us. 

The name of King, was worthily given to a prominent Building 
of Bowdoin College, of which Uncle William was an early, constant, 
and influential friend — and would, if his mind had been preserved, 
have proved a munificent Patron. If the College, being disappointed, 
in receiving his money should be willing to withdraw his name, and 
substitute that, of another, who would pay for the distinction — it 
would be quite clear, that it was not intended to confer an honor — 
but to offer an equivalent for his gift. 

We, who cannot but feel pride, in the name and character of 
Uncle William — would not desire his name should be continued, to 
this Building under such circumstances— as we think that we should 
do it, no honor, if we would consent to pay for its being retained. 

What, however, we do desire, and have proposed is to ap- 
propriate whatever may be necessary to insure the comfort and well 
being, in all respects, of our uncle and aunt, at Bath — for the re- 
mainder of their troubled days — so that, in any event, in addition to 
their already aggravated sorrows, that, of dependence upon 
strangers, may be spared to them. 74 

On June 17, 1852, General King died. He was "nearly 85 years old and 
had been failing outwardly about a fortnight, the light within had long 
been extinguished." The funeral was held in Bath on the nineteenth, at- 
tended by many public personages and representatives of the College. 
"Flags and black drapery ornamented the custom house and a great many 
other buildings and many lines with like embellishments were stretched 
across the streets." "Minute guns were fired whilst the procession moved 
and Masonic rites were performed at the grave." 75 By the time of his death 
the commissioner in charge of his estate had notified the College that no 
funds were available and had rejected the claims of the College on the 
estate. The college authorities were still undecided as to whether they 
should try to collect through the courts. 76 

The matter of the King bequest was, however, settled without resort 
to the courts when Mrs. King wrote the following letter: 

To Leonard Woods D.D. 
President of Bowdoin College 


Entertaining the best wishes for the prosperity of Bowdoin Col- 
lege and believing were my late husband alive, and in full possession 
of his faculties, it would be his earnest desire to have such measures 
adopted, as would relieve the college from pecuniary embarrassment 
arising from the outlay on the chapel, I express it as my desire the 
name of King be withdrawn from the Chapel and that of some future 
generous Donor, or the name he may suggest, be substituted; pro- 

82 Religion at Bowdoin College: A History 

vided the $4,000 are not raised in the manner now contemplated. 


Anna N. King 

We approve of the above request 

C.W. King 

C.N. Porter 

E.T. Bridge 

A.F.K. Bridge 77 

Professor Upham was confident that he could easily obtain $4,000 if 
the donor be permitted to name the chapel. The Visiting Committee, 
however, objected to putting the chapel "up for auction," and the Boards, 
following their recommendation in the meeting on August 31 , 1852, voted: 

That the proposal of the widow and only son and other relations of 
the late William King that the name of King Chapel be no longer 
appropriated to that building, be acceded to, and that the Chapel 
remain without any other designation until the further order of the 
Boards, and that the Treasurer of the College be authorized to 
deliver up the note of the late William King for the sum of six thou- 
sand dollars, the estate being insufficient to pay the same and to 
afford a competent support for the widow and to pay all other 
debts. 78 

Work on finishing the interior of the Chapel proceeded slowly. At first 
it was thought the dedication could be held in September 1854, on the old 
commencement day. November first was then suggested, which elicited the 
observation of Charles S. Daveis of the Board of Trustees, who was 
scheduled to give the dedicatory address, that this was "the most Catholic 
day in the calendar." For "many reasons" President Woods thought it best 
to postpone the dedication. After consultation with Daveis it was decided 
in May that the dedication would be held on Thursday, June 7, 1855; it 
had to be a Thursday because the train from Portland ran only on alter- 
nate days. 79 

The Committee of Arrangements consisted of President Woods, John 
S.C. Abbott, William Smyth, and Rev. George Adams. Invitations were 
sent to a long list of distinguished citizens. In spite of threatening weather, 
many guests arrived on the morning train. At a little after ten o'clock the 
procession moved from the library to the Chapel proper which "was well 
filled, though by no means uncomfortably crowded." The Reverend Dr. 
George Adams of the First Parish Church in Brunswick opened the services 
by reading appropriate passages of scripture and offering a prayer. A 
hymn was then sung by the choir from First Parish, whereupon President 
Woods made timely remarks and then "proceeded to dedicate the house to 
'Him without whom they labor in vain who build it,' in a peculiarly fervent 
and appropriate prayer." Professor Roswell D. Hitchcock, Collins Pro- 
fessor of Natural and Revealed Religion at the College, then preached a 

The Building of the New Chapel 83 

long dedicatory sermon on Colossians 2:3: "In whom are hid all the 
treasures of wisdom and knowledge." He made reference to the three main 
purposes for which the building was erected. "In its Gallery of Paintings, it 
proclaims the legitimacy of Art; in its Library, the worth of knowledge; in 
this grave and lofty room, with its glowing windows and its starry roof, it 
proclaims the dignity of a rapt and reverent Communion with God." He 
went on to speak of the "evangelical doctrines in relation to God — to 
Nature — and to man, which are drawn from those treasures of wisdom and 
knowledge to which the text refers." The eloquent sermon apparently 
made a great impression. The two-hour ceremony was concluded by a 
prayer by the Reverend Dr. Dwight of Portland. In the afternoon, in spite 
of heavy rain, a large audience attended the address by Charles E. Daveis 
on the history of the College, before a meeting of the Maine Historical 
Society. Mr. Daveis, being in feeble health, made only a few introductory 
remarks and then handed his manuscript to Rev. John S.C. Abbott, who 
read the long address. The Brunswick Telegraph concluded its account of 
the proceedings with the statement: "To the friends of the College and of 
education generally in this state, the occasion was a memorable one, as 
marking the erection of a building in which generations yet unborn will 
doubtless worship, and explore the 'treasures of wisdom and 
knowledge.'" 80 

The Chapel had been a long time in planning and building, largely 
because of the difficulty in raising the necessary funds. A building which 
was first estimated to cost $15,000 soon required $21,000, and in the end 
cost $46,791.22. On July 28, 1855, when the Building Committee made its 
final requested report, $2,173.22 of this sum remained uncovered by either 
appropriation or donation. 81 This led the Boards to vote: 

Whereas the accounts for the expenditures on the chapel have 
been duly examined, allowed and approved by the proper commit- 
tees: Therefore, however objectionable the practice of spending 
more for any object than the sum appropriated, yet under the cir- 
cumstances of the case that the Treasurer be authorized to credit the 
chapel account with the balance due therefrom of $2,173.20 and 
that he charge the same to the general funds of the college. 82 

There was no mention of thanks being extended to the Building Commit- 

Although the Chapel was dedicated, it was not completely finished. 
During the following year the room over the library was fitted out with 
chairs, settees, and carpet at a cost of $273, and the Boards were requested 
to make a further appropriation of $70. 83 This room was to be used as a 
meeting place for the Overseers, but it was soon found to be inconvenient. 
It was open to all sounds from the Chapel, the stairs were too steep, and 
there was not enough light. The Visiting Committee recommended further 

84 Religion at Bowdoin College: A History 

changes and $100 was appropriated. 84 There were two furnaces in the 
cellar of the Chapel used to heat different parts of the building. Long stove 
pipes to apertures in the walls and the presence of much combustible 
material constituted a fire hazard. The Visiting Committee in 1858 recom- 
mended converting the furnaces to the use of coal. Nothing was done at 
once, but in 1860 and 1861 the Boards appropriated money for a new fur- 
nace to heat the Chapel and the library. The College was beginning to con- 
vert to the use of coal and in 1861 built a coal house for the deposit of coal 
near the depot at a cost of $90. Formerly what coal had been used was 
stored in the cellar of Massachusetts Hall. 85 The expense of heating the 
Chapel seemed large during the austerity of the Civil War, and the Boards 
voted that in the cold weather when a fire was needed the chapel services 
were to be held elsewhere. 86 In 1868 the Boards voted $250 for a new fur- 
nace to warm the library. But there were still difficulties. In 1870 the 
Boards voted $50 for the repair of the chapel chimney, as well as for a stove 
for the college library. 87 

Along with the heating of the Chapel, the stopping of leaks in the roof 
was a continuing problem in the following years. In 1857 the Visiting Com- 
mittee reported the Chapel was made tight. Three years later they found 
the repairs on the roof of the south wing were not properly made and there 
was need for repairs also on the north wing. In 1861, in addition to report- 
ing on the need of pointing up the mortar on the east end of the Chapel, 
they found such bad leaks in the library roof that it was necessary to 
remove books from the shelves in every storm. A year later they found the 
leaks over the library nearly all stopped. 88 In 1863 the Visiting Committee 
reported the south wing "not yet made tight" and the carpet in the Chapel 
worn out. The Boards promptly voted $130 for repair of the roof of the 
south wing and $120 for a new carpet. But the leaks were not stopped, and 
in 1865 the Boards voted $200 for shingling the south wing. In 1869 the 
upper side windows were found to leak so badly in driving storms that the 
water ran down over some of the pictures on the walls. This time the 
Visiting Committee thought that an appropriation of only $20 would 
"remove the trouble." 89 Leaks in Brunswick roofs were not a rare 
phenomenon and were taken in stride. 

The chapel building had from the beginning been meant to serve 
multiple purposes. In 1849 the north wing had begun to be used as the art 
gallery, and a year later it had been named the Walker Gallery. 90 The 
Boards had been concerned about the paintings and in 1847 had 
appropriated $200 to obtain the service of a competent artist "to make 
examination of the paintings and take measures to preserve and guard 
them from injury." They also voted to authorize the president to exchange 
such paintings as in the opinion of the faculty were unsuited for public ex- 
hibition for other works of art of worth and merit. They took steps to see if 
the families of donors would object to the sale. In 1850 the Boards 

The Building of the New Chapel 85 

authorized the sale of those pictures which in the judgment of the president 
and Robert H. Gardiner were unsuitable for hanging. Money from the sale 
was to be used to pay for cleaning the paintings, and if any money was left 
over, for the purchase of more pictures. 91 By 1852 the Visiting Committee 
could report that $829.50 had been paid so far for cleaning the pictures, 
and that the pictures bequeathed by James Bowdoin had all been cleaned. 
They recommended that certain pictures should be sold to pay for the ex- 
penses incurred. Three paintings which still remained in Boston were the 
prime candidates for sale. One was L A and His Daughter, a. "picture of no 
merit of any kind and only fit for a brothel." The other two were a picture 
of nymphs bathing and a copy of Titian's Danae and the Golden Shower. 
They felt that the last two had considerable merit as works of art, and they 
wrote: "In Europe where the eye has been long familiar to the exhibition of 
naked statues little hesitation would be made to admitting them into 
respectable galleries, but the Danae is certainly designed to excite im- 
proper ideas, and objects which might be viewed with impunity by persons 
of mature age might have bad effects upon youth by exciting life passions 
yet dormant." They recommended that the president be left to deal with 
the problem. In 1857 the Visiting Committee was able to report that the 
pictures had been cleaned and brightened and that the collection made a 
good impression and was "one of the best in the country." 92 

The long sought place to display the art collection was not a success. 
In 1884 the Visiting Committee reported: "The Picture Gallery is a 
misnomer. It is simply a store room for paintings, and not a safe one at 
that." The leakage about the windows had already injured some of the pic- 
tures, and there seemed to be no way of preventing this. This harsh verdict 
was affirmed by the Visiting Committee the following year. 93 

As is often the case, libraries are no sooner built than they are found 
cramped for space, and this was true of the new library. The Visiting Com- 
mittee in 1856 reported that while the library could make do that year, 
something would have to be done the next. They recommended that the 
entry between the library in the east end of the building and the picture 
gallery in the north wing be fitted out for the expansion of the library. It 
took some time to accomplish this, and it was not until 1861 that the 
Visiting Committee noted that the "new room in [the] north wing has been 
furnished in neat style and will furnish accommodation for increase of the 
library for some years to come." A new furnace to warm this addition still 
had to be supplied, and this was acquired the next year. It did not solve the 
heating problem, however, and later changes were necessary. 94 

Such repairs and alterations are more or less to be expected in a new 
building and are made currently. There was one anticipated completion 
which took much longer. The six panels on each of the side walls were to be 
filled with appropriate paintings. As the Visiting Committee noted in 
1858: "It is expected and was originally intended that they be filled by 

86 Religion at Bowdoin College: A History 

private munificence." 95 The project indeed started promptly and well. In 
the first year after the Chapel was dedicated, two panels were completed. 
They were painted by Mr. Mueller, a German artist from New York, after 
cartoons by Raphael. The first panel on the north side and immediately to 
the right of the lectern represents the Apostle Paul preaching on Mars Hill. 
It was the gift of Mr. Jared Sparks, president of Harvard University, and 
Mrs. Sparks. The next panel represents the miracle of the lame man 
healed by Peter and John at the beautiful gate of the temple. It was the gift 
of the Honorable Bellamy Storer of the class of 1813, and later the reci- 
pient of an honorary degree from the College. 96 He was a lawyer who for 
many years served as a Superior Court judge in Ohio and taught at the 
Cincinnati Law School. The third panel to be filled is the fifth on the north 
side and represents the Adoration of the Magi. It was also painted by 
Mueller after a painting by Peter Cornelius (1783-1867), a founder of the 
Duesseldorf School, in the Ludwigskirche in Munich. It was apparently 
painted in 1857-1858, for the Visiting Committee in 1858 noted in respect 
to this painting that the College "was indebted to generous liberality of a 
graduate of the college, whose name, at his own express request, has not 
been made known to us, and is not to be made public." 97 This donor was 
Harrison Otis Apthorp, Class of 1829, who provided $250 for the painting 
of the picture but steadfastly insisted that his anonymity be maintained. 98 
He offered also to contribute if an effort were made to fill a fourth panel. 
No such subscription was undertaken, but in 1860 President Woods en- 
gaged an artist, who remains unknown, to fill the panel next to the en- 
trance on the north side with a copy of the Annunciation by the French ar- 
tist Jalabert. The president had hoped to pay for the painting by selling the 
copy of Titian's Danae and the Golden Shower, which the Boards had 
authorized him to do. The picture proved difficult to sell, and President 
Woods now induced the Honorable Nathan Cummings, Class of 1817, who 
had advanced money to pay the artist of the fourth panel, to take the 
Danae as satisfaction for the debt. 99 

There were now four panels filled on the north side, with pictures 
depicting New Testament scenes. A start was made on filling the south side 
with Old Testament scenes when the 1866 graduating class presented a 
picture based on Raphael's St. Michael Slaying the Dragon. It is im- 
mediately to the speaker's left. It was done by a New York painter, Charles 
Otto, who apparently was in a hurry, for he requested permission from 
President Woods to finish the painting on Sunday so he could take an early 
Monday morning train to New York. The president, with a twinkle in his 
eyes, replied. "While I, myself, may not have any personal objections, yet I 
fear that the sense of the community would be that the Dragon was rather 
getting the upper hand." 100 There must have been some general plan to 
provide historical sequence, for the next panel filled was the third one on 
the left. This picture was given by the class of 1877 on its graduation and is 

The Building of the New Chapel 87 

a copy of Raphael's Moses Giving the Law. It was painted by Francis 
Lathrop, and many Brunswick people served as models. That same year 
the panels on the north side were completed. One was presented by Mrs. 
William Perry of Brunswick in memory of her husband and is a copy of 
part of Raphael's Transfiguration; the other was given by friends of Dr. 
John D. Lincoln, Class of 1843, of Brunswick and depicts the Baptism of 
Christ after the picture by Carlo Marotti. These last two paintings were 
also done by Francis Lathrop. 

After this flurry of artistic activity it took thirty-six years to complete 
the four remaining Old Testament panels on the south side. In 1886 Henry 
J. Furber, a member of the class of 1861 , gave the picture Adam and Eve, 
copied after the painting by Hippolyte Flandrin in the Church of St. 
Germain-des-Pres. It was done by Frederic Vinton of Boston and unlike 
the other chapel paintings was painted on canvas and then fastened to the 
wall. It is often rated as one of the best of all the panel paintings. In 1908 
Dr. Frederick H. Gerrish, Class of 1866, a professor at the medical school, 
presented the picture David with the Head of Goliath and the Maidens of 
Israel Singing Songs offoy, after the painting by Tissot. It was done byJ.B. 
Kahili, a resident of Maine but a native of Syria. Mr. Kahili was his own 
model for David. He had himself photographed in the desired pose and 
worked from this photograph for his final study. 101 The last two panels 
were also the gift of Dr. Gerrish and were painted by Miss Edna T. Marrett 
of Brunswick. 102 One, finished in 1913, given in memory of Professor 
Henry L. Chapman, who taught at the College from 1869 to 1913, is a 
copy of Michelangelo's Isaiah in the Sistine Chapel in Rome. It is the next 
to the last painting on the south side near the entrance. The other, finished 
in 1915, was given in memory of Dr. Gerrish's brother William Little Ger- 
rish, Class of 1864, an officer in the Union Army who lost his life in battle 
at Petersburg, Virginia, in 1865. It is a copy of Michelangelo's Delphic 
Sibyl in the Sistine Chapel and is an exception to the south side panels 
representing personages from the Old Testament. The angels after Fra 
Angelico (from the Madonna of the Linaiuoli in the Uffizi in Florence) 
which fill the half-panels on each side of the rostrum were also done by 
Miss Marrett and were given by members of the class of 1 906. 103 

Although the interior decorative panels were unfinished, the Chapel 
was an imposing structure when it was dedicated in 1855. The twin towers 
rising to a height of 120 feet were a village landmark. The arrangement of 
the interior, with three tiers of benches parallel to the main aisle, was 
unique for New England. The benches on the rostrum were to become the 
accustomed seats for the faculty and the student choir. Seniors sat in the 
forms nearest to the rostrum, the juniors, sophomores, and freshmen next 
in order, the freshmen being required to remain standing in their places as 
the upperclassmen, starting with the seniors, filed out. This was not the 
only disadvantage the freshmen had to sustain; they were handicapped so 

88 Religion at Bowdoin College: A History 

far as hearing was concerned. As Professor Little observed in his history of 
the College: "The majority of New Englanders believed that meeting- 
houses, including college chapels, should be erected according to the laws 
of acoustics. President Woods held that a church should be erected accord- 
ing to the law of optics. The Bowdoin chapel was so erected." 104 The 
acoustics in the Chapel were bad, 105 and subsequent attempts to remedy 
this have alleviated but not solved the problem. Two small balconies at the 
rear and front of the Chapel provided additional space and made it possi- 
ble later to install a large organ. The rich black walnut woodwork is a 
thing of beauty and apparently early impressed the students. To the sur- 
prise of the Visiting Committee in 1855, they could spot not a single jack- 
knife mark on the benches or panels, and they wrote: "If such should con- 
tinue permanently to be the moral effect of the costly and exquisite finish 
of this structure, the generous friends who have aided in its erection will 
feel themselves abundantly repaid for their outlay." 106 These aspirations 
and hopes have been justified, for the benches and panels remain 
unblemished to this very day. Instead of carving up the benches, the 
students began inscribing their names on the inner door to the north 
chapel tower. "On it are written," the Orient noted in 1903, "the names of 
nearly every student in the last twenty-eight years and still there is room for 
more. It should be regarded as a simple duty demanded by college custom, 
that everyone put his signature there, for his children and admirers later to 
pick out. Is yours there?" 107 

The campus including the First 
Parish Church with the original 
tower designed by Richard Up- 

The campus showing belfries 
on both Massachusetts Hall and 
the old chapel, 1818-1830. 

The campus and the First 
Parish Church with spire, 


The interior of the Cha- 
pel after the installa- 
tion of the Curtis Organ 
in 1927, showing the 
New Testament panels 
on the left (north) side 
and the Old Testament 
panels on the right 
(south) side. 

The Chapel, designed 
by Richard Upjohn, 
built of local granite 
between 1844 and 1855 
during the presidency 
of Leonard Woods. 

The art gallery in the north wing of the Chapel after the acquisition of plaster 
casts of antique sculpture in the late 1 870s. 

The library in the room at the back of the Chapel, officially named Banister 
Hall by the Governing Boards in 1 850. 

The Memorial Flagpole as it 
rested in the Chapel, placed 
there in protest by the students 
onApril 12, 1930. 

President Sills and the grounds 
erew hastening to remove the 
flagpole in time for vespers the 
next day. 


Endowments and the Issue of Denominationalism 

Instrumental in the building of the Chapel was the receipt by the College 
of two important funds, the one from the residue of the Bowdoin estate, 
the other from the 1846 solicitations of aid, primarily from the Congrega- 
tional churches of Maine. The latter campaign had involved the issuance 
of the Declaration calling attention to the relationship of the College to the 
orthodox Congregational denomination. There were different ideas as to 
the nature and depth of this relationship, and the problem of denomina- 
tionalism became an issue in the succeeding decades. Apart from the 
Declaration, which has been quoted in full above, there were other events 
and statements which tended to affirm that Bowdoin was a Congregational 
college, in the sense that most colleges in the United States in these years 
were church-related. The establishment of the Collins Professorship of 
Natural and Revealed Religion was considered to be a manifestation of 
this relationship. 1 

With the election of Leonard Woods to the presidency of the College 
in May of 1839, currents of change were soon noticeable. The tensions and 
strains of the years of Allen's administration were happily ended. The 
young president was a bachelor, and it was soon evident that he cultivated 
a different relationship with the students from that of his predecessors. 
The old parietal rules which had existed ever since the College was 
founded were not annulled, but they were now more leniently ad- 
ministered. Scholarly, devout, genial, President Woods was not a 
disciplinarian. President Hyde was later to write of him: 

In his mild and charitable eyes, robbed hen-roosts, translated live 
stock, greased blackboards and tormented tutors, were indeed things 
to be perfunctorily deplored; but they were not deemed specimens of 
total depravity, or cases of unpardonable sin: nor was he as insistent 
upon meting out a just recompense of reward to the culprits, as his 
more strenuous colleagues thought he ought to be. This mingling of 
austerity on the part of the faculty which made mischief of this sort 
worth doing, with extreme leniency on the part of the President, 
which insured immunity from serious penalty, made the college from 
1839 to 1866 probably the best place there ever was in the world for 

90 Religion at Bowdoin College: A History 

boys to be boys, and to indulge that crude and lawless self-assertion 
which was the only available approach which the colleges of that day 
afforded to manly courage and ordered independence. 2 

If students at Bowdoin seemed to manifest their independence more 
ardently than in the past, this was but an expression of the spirit of the 
times, not unlike the political activity of the students in Europe which 
came to a climax in the revolution of 1848. Greek letter fraternities came 
to Bowdoin in the early 1840s, and new ties of loyalty were being formed; 
the old Bowdoin was changing and renewing itself. 

The Boards even more than the faculty took a dim view of the 
behaviour of the students. The students were wont to "liberate" wood from 
the woodyard, and in 1845 the Visiting Committee recommended moving 
the woodyard to prevent stealing. "They [the students] may deceive 
themselves by the use of cant phrases and thus indulge themselves in the 
habitual breach of the 8th Commandment, but God is not mocked and 
your committee cannot too strongly urge upon the executive government 
[faculty] the necessity of bringing the students to a right understanding 
upon this subject and inducing their pupils to refrain from practices 
dishonorable to them as Christians and as gentlemen." 3 In the spring of 
1847 the woodshed with the remaining supply of wood was set on fire. This 
wanton destruction of property, the most flagrant of a whole series of 
depredations, aroused the Visiting Committee. They made a study of the 
annual destruction of property from 1831 to 1847; the lowest amount 
apportioned to individuals being $10.87 in 1837, the largest amount 
$74.01 in 1843, with an average of $33.04 per year. 4 The committee con- 
cluded that the vices and morals at the College needed attention. The sad 
conditions were the result of the lack of proctors from the executive com- 
mittee in the dorms at all times, especially at night, the influence of secret 
societies, and the lack of moral instruction, especially in the first two or 
three years of a student's life at the College. The committee was convinced 
that a separate department devoted to ethical and moral subjects could no 
longer be delayed. Until that great need was supplied they wanted the 
president to lecture to incoming classes one or two times and "point out to 
them the duties they are required to perform, and the dangers and tempta- 
tions to which they will be exposed, admonishing them of the consequences 
to themselves, which a course of disorder and vice must certainly bring." 5 

Even before this report was written, a subscription paper dated March 
15, 1847, was drawn up and circulated. Its purpose was to found a pro- 
fessorship of theology subject to certain stated regulations. The interest on 
the funds subscribed should be permitted to accumulate until it amounted 
to at least $15,000, when the professor should be appointed. He should "at 
all times be selected from ministers or ordained clergymen in regular 
standing of the trinitarian orthodox congregational denomination of 

Endowments and the Issue of D enominationalism 91 

Christians." 6 The paper went on to spell out the unique position con- 
templated for the new professor: 

The Professor shall not be a member of the executive govern- 
ment of the College nor be required or allowed to communicate any 
knowledge of the character, opinions, or conduct of any student of 
the College obtained by intercourse or conversation with the 

It shall be his duty to endeavor to cultivate and maintain a 
familiar intercourse with the students, and to visit and converse with 
them at their chambers; and by conversation as well as by more for- 
mal teaching and preaching to impress upon their minds the truths 
of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, and their suitableness to pro- 
mote the happiness of the present life, and the necessity, that they 
should be cordially embraced to secure the happiness of a future and 
endless life. 

The Boards were to be able to "regulate" the manner in which these duties 
should be performed, including ordinary instruction in the College, but 
were not "to prevent the performance of the duties enjoined or... to cause 
the professor to teach or conduct in any manner inconsistent with the 
faithful performance of those duties." 

The next year the Visiting Committee reported that certain persons 
had subscribed $16,500 for an appointment of a theological professor and 
recommended that the Boards accept the fund with the conditions as 
outlined by the subscription paper. This the Boards did on September 6, 
1848, and officially established the Collins Professorship of Natural and 
Revealed Religion. 7 The usual salary for professors at this time was $1 ,000, 
and the Boards voted that, whenever the interest exceeded this sum, it 
should be added to the principal. 8 Mrs. Ebenr. (Susan) Collins had 
subscribed $5,000 to the fund, the principal to be secured by a note with 
the interest being paid semiannually. Judge Ether Shepley, who had writ- 
ten the Visiting Committee report calling for the establishment of a 
theological professorship, contributed $1,000, as did Professor Thomas C. 
Upham, Benjamin Tappan, Class of 1833, and Mrs. Ebenr. Hale, Jr. 
There were a number of $500 and smaller contributions. In all $17,435 
was subscribed for this purpose, just about a quarter of the total of around 
$70,000 raised by the 1846 financial drive. 9 Some of the gifts were in the 
form of notes on which the interest was not always paid, and the fund 
varied considerably during the succeeding years. 

The Boards sought immediately to fill the chair. In September 1848 
they elected the Reverend George L. Prentiss, Class of 1835, of New Bed- 
ford to the chair, but he declined the appointment. The following year 
they chose the Reverend Daniel J. Noyes, and he also refused their offer. 10 
Meanwhile, President Woods continued his practice of holding on Sunday 

92 Religion at Bowdoin College: A History 

evenings a Bible class for seniors who wished to attend voluntarily. 11 At a 
special meeting on March 21, 1850, the Boards elected Rev. Calvin E. 
Stowe, Class of 1 824, then professor of Biblical literature at Lane Seminary 
in Cincinnati, the first Collins Professor at a salary of $1,000, the moving 
money not to exceed $400. 12 President Woods was strongly in his favor and 
spoke of his ample qualifications. After two years — long enough for his 
wife to write Uncle Tom's Cabin — Stowe resigned his post to become pro- 
fessor of sacred literature at Andover Theological Seminary. Industrious 
and able, Professor Stowe fulfilled his obligations very satisfactorily. He 
was backed by the Boards, who at their meeting in September 1851 voted: 
"That all students of the College are required to attend at least one general 
exercise in each week conducted by the Collins Professor of Natural and 
Revealed Religion and on such day and at such time and with such ar- 
rangements as may be designated by the President." 13 

Professor Stowe was succeeded as Collins Professor by the Reverend 
Roswell Dwight Hitchcock of Exeter, New Hampshire. The Visiting Com- 
mittee, after his first year at Bowdoin, reported most favorably on his work 
as Collins Professor. 14 And well it might. In his annual report to the com- 
mittee in 1854, Professor Hitchcock related that he had invited the 
freshmen to his home and visited them in their rooms. Throughout the fall 
and part of the spring he gave the freshmen three recitations a week on 
Paley's Natural Theology and also worked with sophomores and juniors. 
Once a fortnight on Saturday evenings he gave lectures on religious topics; 
attendance was voluntary, and the lecture room was filled. In addition, he 
gave some ten to twelve discourses on the Sabbath at the First Parish 
Church. In all he thought his work had gone well. 15 This was exactly the 
kind of activities the donors had in mind when they established the Collins 
chair. The Visiting Committee was enthusiastic and reported in 1855 that 
morals at the College were in good condition, and the faculty recognized 
the influence of the Collins Professorship. 16 This was the year the Chapel 
was completed and dedicated; the importance of religion at Bowdoin was 
evident to all. In 1855 Professor Hitchcock accepted a position as professor 
of ecclesiastical history at Union Theological Seminary. Professor Egbert 
Coffin Smyth, who had been teaching Greek and later rhetoric and oratory 
at Bowdoin since 1849, was then made Collins Professor and held that 
position until 1863, when he went to Andover Seminary. In his report of 
1859 to the Visiting Committee, Smyth commented on one of the more 
controversial assignments of the Collins Professors. This was to visit the 
students in their rooms, and he had done so. "It gives me great pleasure," 
he wrote, "to state that such visits have always been most agreeable to me 
by the courtesy with which I have been received, and that my experience is 
convincing me not only of the feasibility of such a mode of intercourse, 
which has sometimes been called in question, but also of its salutary in- 
fluence." 17 The Collins Professorship was continuing to work out well. 

Endowments and the Issue of Denominationalism 93 

After Professor Smyth , the chair was held from 1 864 to 1 884 by one of 
Bowdoin's most devoted and beloved professors, Alpheus Spring 
Packard. 18 On his death in 1884 the chair was vacant until 1890, when it 
was awarded to Professor Frank Edward Woodruff, who had been 
teaching Greek at Bowdoin. By this time the professorship had lost most of 
its unique features, in large part because the endowment was inadequate, 
and the holders of the chair had to devote much of their time to other 
teaching assignments. 

In the early 1870s the finances of the College were again at low ebb. 
Under President Joshua L. Chamberlain, the Boards in 1874 undertook a 
drive to raise $100,000 for endowment. 19 It was a time to take inventory of 
what the College had, and the Collins Fund was examined afresh. The 
Boards found that on September 6, 1848, the Collins Fund had actually 
stood at $13,300. 20 Since then the note of Mrs. Ebenr. Collins remained 
unpaid, as did that of Mrs. Elizabeth M. Nelson. On August 2, 1859, the 
Boards had voted to remit $200 and the interest on the Nelson note. 21 If all 
other funds had been paid, the principal would have amounted to $8,100. 
The Boards accordingly voted that this amount be taken from general 
funds and placed to the account of the Collins Professorship along with the 
Collins note. 22 This, however, did not settle matters. Interest had not been 
paid on the Collins note, and on November 18, 1875, this note, on the sug- 
gestion of Mrs. Collins, was converted into a bond of $7,500 without in- 
terest. 23 It was her intention to pay it off in installments, but if at her death 
the bond had not been paid off, yearly payments of $500 were to be paid 
until her estate at No. 20 Chardon Street in Boston was sold. The Boards 
in 1876 instructed that $16,461 .67 be transferred to the Collins Fund along 
with the Collins bond and a note for $500 of Mrs. Harriet Bell. 24 This lat- 
ter note was cancelled in 1882. 25 In 1877 Benjamin Delano gave $500 to be 
added to the Collins Fund; Professor R.D. Hitchcock, then at Union 
Theological Seminary, gave $80 in 1879, and on June 19, 1893, $500 was 
paid on the Collins bond by the executor of Mrs. Collins's estate. 26 Thus 
when the Boards again made inquiry into the fund, the college treasurer, 
Ira P. Booker, reported that the fund stood at $24,421.67 as of February 3, 
1896. One of the assets of the fund was the Collins bond, and in 1896, 
when the estate of Mrs. Collins was finally settled, the college authorities 
were happy to receive $7,000, the remainder of the bond, and willingly 
forgave the payment of some back interest they had claimed due. 27 

At this time President Hyde was advocating important changes in the 
use of the Collins Fund. It was not adequate for a professorship and besides 
"systematic visitation of students in their chambers for religious conversa- 
tion by a person employed and paid to perform that particular function is 
manifestly impracticable." 28 He suggested using the money to obtain the 
services of eminent preachers who would visit the campus and preach at 
Sunday services. He also proposed using some of the money to pay for a 

94 Religion at Bowdoin College: A History 

Y.M.C.A. secretary. But the Boards were slow to be persuaded. They did 
verbally instruct former President Joshua L. Chamberlain to investigate 
the terms under which the fund had been established. He reported on June 
14, 1897, submitting the terms as adopted in 1848. 29 

Nothing was done about the fund until President Hyde sought to pro- 
vide pensions for the faculty by taking advantage of the program of the 
Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. That foundation 
would not extend "its benefits to any institution which imposed a 
denominational test in choice of governing boards, faculty, or students, or 
taught distinctly denominational tenets or doctrines." 30 The provision of 
the Collins Professorship that the incumbent was to "be selected from 
ministers or ordained clergymen in regular standing of the trinitarian or- 
thodox Congregational denomination of Christians" was held by the foun- 
dation to be a violation of its practice. Two other college funds — the 
Winkley Professorship and the Stone Foundation (to be discussed later) — 
were also held objectionable. The College sought aid from the courts in 
setting aside the restrictions of the original terms establishing the Collins 
Professorship. On April 7, 1908, the State Supreme Judicial Court, In 
Equity, in The President and Trustees of Bowdoin College v. Hannibal E. 
Hamlin, Attorney General of Said State, ruled: 

Ordered, Adjudged, and Decreed that the trust created by the 
establishment of the fund mentioned in the bill is a public charitable 
trust; that the administration thereof in the particular manner 
prescribed by the founders of the fund now is impracticable; and 
that accordingly, until the further order of this Court, the Plaintiff, 
The President and Trustees of Bowdoin College, is directed to apply 
the income of said fund to the payment of the salary of a Secretary of 
the Young Men's Christian Association of said Bowdoin College, and 
the residue of said income, if any, from time to time, be added to the 
principal of said fund, or, at the option of said Plaintiff and the 
Overseers of said Bowdoin College be applied to the support of the 
First Parish Church, of said Brunswick or to the support of the ser- 
vice at the College Chapel, or to the purchase of books for the library 
of said College, of a religious, theological, ethical or philosophical 
character or to providing speakers for, or otherwise aiding in carry- 
ing on the work of said Association. Such disposition of the income is 
adjudged to be within the general scope of the intention of the 
donors of the charity fund. 31 

This ruling satisfied the Carnegie Foundation, and the funds of the Collins 
Professorship have ever since been used in accordance with its direction. 

On February 1, 1924, the Boards repealed the vote passed in 1848 
providing "That whenever the interest shall exceed the sum of $1000, the 
excess be invested until otherwise ordered, as part of the capital to com- 
pensate or reimburse any losses which in the course of events may occur." 32 

Endowments and the Issue of D enominationalism 95 

This directive had long not been observed and to right the wrong, the 
Boards voted: "That the acts of the several Treasurers of the college in fail- 
ing to add any of the interest derived from said Collins Professorship to the 
principal be and the same hereby are ratified and approved." To list the 
Collins Professorship Fund along with the endowed Bowdoin professor- 
ships seemed irrational to President James Stacy Coles and at his direction 
Glenn R. Mclntire, at that time assistant treasurer, wrote a memorandum 
to the bursar asking him "to transfer the Collins Professorship Fund from 
the "Professorship" group to the "Special Purpose" group. 33 Mr. Mclntire 
added: "It will no doubt save confusion if in the published reports we sim- 
ply say Collins Fund and omit the word Professorship." The first provision 
of the memorandum has been complied with, the second not. The fund is 
still carried on the college books and reports as the "Collins Professorship 
of Natural and Revealed Religion." On June 30, 1979, the fund stood at 
$35,697.63, and since 1974-1975 all the income from it has been granted 
to the library for the purchase of "religious books" separate from and not 
part of the regular library book budget. The college authorities have kept 
faith with the terms of the original foundation of the Collins Professorship 
Fund, as interpreted by the State Supreme Court in 1908. 

The history of the Collins Professorship, here given in some detail, not 
only shows the close relationship of the College to Congregationalism that 
existed in the mid-nineteenth century, but also reveals the lessening of that 
bond and the growing secularization of the College. There were other 
developments that depict in much the same way the decline of denomina- 
tional ties. On August 2, 1864, Henry H. Boody, Class of 1842, who had 
taught rhetoric and oratory at the College and had resigned his position in 
1854 to enter business in New York, made a gift to the College of $50,000 
to be paid in five annual installments, the whole sum bearing interest at 6 
percent. 34 The conditions under which the gift was made and readily ac- 
cepted by the Boards are of interest in indicating the relationship between 
the College and Congregationalism. Mr. Boody supported the Declaration 
of 1846 that Bowdoin was a denominational college "as illustrated in the 
case of Yale, Amherst and Dartmouth Colleges" and in other colleges 
belonging to the Methodist, the Episcopalian, and other denominations. 
He went on to state: 

By an Orthodox Congregational College, I understand a college in 
which a clear and decided majority of its Boards and Oversight con- 
sists of that denomination, recognized by and acceptable to the 
denomination, as fair exponents of its character, views and aims, and 
who undertake the management of the college with such denomina- 
tional care and fidelity as may reasonably be expected, and is always 
deemed proper in analogous cases, yet with a just and generous 
liberality toward other denominations." 

96 Religion at Bowdoin College: A History 

While both Boards enthusiastically accepted the gift under these condi- 
tions and Mr. Boody was elected to the Board of Trustees where he served 
from 1864 to 1871, the Trustees also passed an explanatory statement 

That it is the understanding of this Board in accepting the donation 
of Hon. H. H. Boody upon the letter accompanying the same, that 
the expression in said letter referring to "character, views and aims" 
are limited to the religious character, and the denominational views 
and aims as expressed in the orthodox creed." 35 

Fearing that this vote "might be misapprehended and perhaps misap- 
plied," the Trustees the next year passed another vote striking out the 
phrase "as expressed in the orthodox creed." 36 Since neither of these last 
votes were sent to the Overseers for their concurrence, they cannot be con- 
sidered a part of the agreement with Mr. Boody. 

Mr. Boody had some difficulties making his payments. He later 
withdrew the conditions under which his gift had been made, and on June 
29, 1869, he wrote to the Boards: 

Having recently made arrangements for the payment of my donation 
to the College, I herewith unconditionally withdraw and cancel all 
and singular the particular stipulations and conditions contained in 
my letter to the Boards in which I made the proposition to give the 
sum of fifty thousand dollars, $50,000, to the college, deeming it 
wiser to leave that fund, in common with the other funds of the 
college, to be used and appropriated, as the wisdom and piety of 
those who shall hereafter administer the affairs of the college, may 
dictate. 37 

This action by Mr. Boody was strongly approved by the Whig and Courier, 
which had repeatedly criticized the Boards for pledging the "conscience of 
the College in all time to a special belief." It wrote: "This withdrawal 
relieves the college from the obligations assumed, and never raises a doubt 
of its religious character, which character not even the most liberal minded 
man wishes to change, but simply asks that it shall not be offensively thrust 
into view." 38 

In 1878 the College received a gift of $10,000 from Henry Winkley of 
Philadelphia "on condition that the college adhere to the religious 
teachings of the Orthodox Congregational or Presbyterian church." 39 On 
May 10, 1880, he made another gift of $15,000, the income to be used "as 
the Trustees may think best." The following September he remitted a fur- 
ther $15,000, which was to be used along with his previous gifts — making 
$40,000 in all — "to endow the Winkley Professorship of the Latin 
Language and Literature on the condition that the college adhere to the 

Endowments and the Issue of Denominationalism 97 

Theological teachings of the Orthodox Congregational or Presbyterian 
Church." The Boards again made no objection to accepting a gift tied to 
denominational commitments. As in the case of the Collins Professorship, 
the Carnegie Foundation objected to these restrictions when the College 
sought to enter its program for faculty pensions. In this case the College 
applied to a residuary legatee of Mr. Winkley, who granted release from 
the denominational restrictions made when the professorship was 
founded. 40 The Henry Winkley Professorship of the Latin Language and 
Literature continues today as one of the endowed chairs at the College. 

That same year, 1880, the College received another major gift which 
imposed denominational restrictions. Mrs. Valeria L. Stone instructed her 
trustees to pay Bowdoin College $70,000 on the following conditions. 41 
Twenty thousand dollars was to be devoted to the completion of Memorial 
Hall on condition that ownership be transferred from the alumni to the 
College, and she later (November 15, 1880) added $5,000 for this purpose. 
She further directed: 

The remainder ($50,000) of the entire amount given (or so much of it 
as may be deemed necessary) shall be appropriated to the endow- 
ment of the chair of Intellectual and Moral Philosophy which shall 
henceforth be termed the Stone professorship. But this sum shall be 
paid only upon this condition, Viz: that the President of the College 
and a majority of its Board of Trustees and also of its Board of 
Overseers, as well as the incumbent of the Stone professorship shall 
always be in doctrinal and religious sympathy with the Orthodox 
Congregational churches of New England, and at any time this con- 
dition is disregarded the endowment of the Stone professorship shall 
be forfeited by the College and revert to the Theological department 
of Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass. 

The Boards accepted the gift with thanks, and the professorship was 
established. The terms under which the fund was established were very 
specific, and the Carnegie Foundation naturally objected to them when 
the College applied for admission to its pension program. The College 
could obtain no release from the restrictions imposed by the gift, and the 
funds were forfeited to Phillips Academy. 42 At that time the fund 
amounted to $56,118.16. Had it been retained, the restrictions imposed 
would have had to be circumvented in some way or the fund forfeited on 
the election of President Sills to the presidency of the College. Neither he 
nor any of his four successors has been Congregationalist, a clear indica- 
tion of the decline of the College's denominational connections. 

The Carnegie Foundation not only required the removal of restrictive 
clauses in respect to the endowment funds but also required the .Boards to 
pass a resolution stating: 

98 Religion at Bowdoin College: A History 

That no denominational test is imposed in the choice of trustees, of- 
ficers or teachers, or in the admission of students, nor are distinctly 
denominational tenets or doctrines taught to students. 43 

Since the members of the Boards felt this had always been the rule, the ac- 
ceptance of this statement caused no difficulty. Bowdoin now came under 
the Carnegie pension plan. President Hyde, in making the announcement 
in chapel on February 11, 1908, hailed "this as the greatest piece of good 
fortune that has come to Bowdoin in many years." 44 

In addition to these major gifts, the College also received some lesser 
funds for scholarships which were linked with the Congregational 
denomination. In 1871 the Shepley Scholarship provided interest from a 
$1,000 bond of the Androscoggin and Kennebec Rail Road to be applied 
"to aid students of the college in need of pecuniary assistance and intend- 
ing to become ministers of our Lord and to preach his gospel as commonly 
received by the Trinitarian Congregational or by the Presbyterian 
denomination of Christians to obtain an education." The next year the 
Mary L. Savage Memorial Scholarship, amounting to $1,000, was given by 
her husband, Dr. William T. Savage, Class of 1833, "for the payment of 
the current expenses of some needy student having the Christian Ministry 
of the Evangelical faith as now understood by the General Conference of 
the Congregational churches in Maine in view." If any student receiving 
money from this fund should not enter the ministry he was asked to repay 
the amount so that it could "be appropriated to the purpose designated." 
The Stephen Sewall Scholarship was established in 1873 to be awarded "to 
pious students preparing to enter the ministry of the evangelical Congrega- 
tional Church. The beneficiary shall be free from the use of tobacco and 
other injurious drugs and intoxicating liquors, and also free from other im- 
moral habits." In 1875 the Emerson Scholarship was established, the in- 
terest of the fund to "be given to the student who is looking forward to the 
Christian Ministry in connection with the Orthodox Congregational 
churches." The Benjamin Delano Scholarship was given in 1877 "for the 
benefit of some deserving young man studying in the college for the 
evangelical Christian Ministry of the Congregational denomination." 45 

The above five scholarships were for many years grouped together at 
the beginning of the list of scholarships in the college catalogue with the 
notation: "The income of the preceding five scholarships is to be ap- 
propriated for the aid of students preparing to enter the ministry of the 
Evangelical Trinitarian churches." In the 1954-1955 catalogue and ever 
since, the scholarships are listed alphabetically, and there is no indication 
that these scholarships are designated for students intent on entering the 
ministry. Hidden away in the Business Office, the restrictions are, 
however, still maintained on the fund records. 

Since the establishment of these scholarships in the 1870s, three addi- 
tional scholarships for prospective ministers have been provided. Under 

Endowments and the Issue of D enominationalism 99 

the Moses R. Ludwig and Albert F. Thomas Scholarships (1884) prefer- 
ence is "always to be given, other things being satisfactory, to such Chris- 
tian young men as shall hold membership in some trinitarian Congrega- 
tional church and shall be in course of preparation for the ministry." 46 The 
Trueman S. Perry Scholarship (1939) is to be awarded "to a student look- 
ing to the Evangelical ministry as a profession." 

There have been a few other scholarships more recently which state a 
different religious preference. The Eva D.H. Baker Scholarship (1932) is 
preferably to go to a Christian Scientist; the John Finzer Presnell, Jr. 
Scholarship (1947) to "a student of high Christian principles"; the George 
W.R. Bowie Fund (1965) to "a needy Protestant student, preferably a 
country boy of American ancestry from Androscoggin County"; and the 
Simon Family Scholarship Fund (1977) "to students of the Jewish faith who 
reside on the North Shore of Boston." 47 One other scholarship with 
religious ties is the G.W. Field Fund (1881), which by preference is to go 
"first to students or graduates of the Bangor Theological Seminary and, 
second, to graduates of the Bangor High School." 48 

The financial aid the College received through the Congregational 
churches was but one of the ties between these churches and the College. 
The Congregationalists came to think of Bowdoin as their college, much as 
they thought Bangor Theological Seminary was their seminary. 49 Ever 
since 1829-1830, the Congregational Conference had sent committees to 
visit the Bangor seminary and report upon its needs and welfare. It was a 
step towards cooperation and financial help, not an effort to take over con- 
trol of the seminary. The Maine Branch of the American Education Socie- 
ty held its annual meeting in conjunction with the meetings of the Con- 
gregational Conference of Maine. Bowdoin professors were active in the 
former, and in 1857 the names of the Bowdoin faculty began to be in- 
cluded in the minutes of the Congregational Conference. Two years 
before, this practice had begun for the faculty of the Bangor seminary. A 
closer relationship between the conference and the College was established 
in 1865 when "a series of resolutions by the Conference commended the 
College to the churches, since its Board had 'recognized the position of the 
College, in accordance with the generally acknowledged facts of its history, 
as Orthodox Congregational ' The mover of the resolutions also sug- 
gested that the Conference appoint a Committee to visit the college an- 
nually as in the case of the Seminary." 50 But it was not until fourteen years 
later that, with the warm approval of President Chamberlain, a visiting 
committee was chosen by the conference to visit the College. It made its 
first annual report to the conference in 1880, and these were continued 
until 1902, when Professor Deems notes "for some reason reports were 
discontinued although names of the Committee continued to be listed." 51 
Perhaps the reports were not made regularly after that, but. on May 9, 
1907, the Portland Express, in reporting on a session of the General Con- 

100 Religion at Bowdoin College: A History 

ference of the Maine Congregational Churches, stated: "A report was 
made on Bowdoin College which is a Congregational institution, in which 
it was stated that the college was in poor financial condition and that many 
of the professors were greatly overworked." 52 The conference did nothing 
to remedy this situation, although it did vote to support a drive to raise 
$150,000 for an endowment fund for the Bangor Theological Seminary. 

The appointment of this conference Visiting Committee was but a 
means of keeping friendly contact with the College on the part of the Con- 
gregational churches. Certainly neither the committee nor the conference 
ever made any attempt to intervene in college affairs, or there would be 
references to this in college records; I have found none. If the Congrega- 
tional Conference sought to maintain ties with the College, the College also 
was glad to rely on the help of the churches. On January 14, 1874, the 
Trustees voted "That Rev. J. O. Fiske, with such as the Overseers shall 
join, be added to the Committee to obtain endowment for the college, and 
that they be especially requested to appeal to the churches of Maine to 
secure a liberal endowment for the chair of Moral and Intellectual 
Philosophy." 53 The committee, which hoped to raise $100,000 for endow- 
ment, was headed by President Chamberlain and in a letter dated 
February 25, 1874, wrote: 

To all friends of Christian education, who desire that the study of the 
Liberal Arts and Sciences shall be prosecuted under the auspices of a 
pure Christianity, we appeal to attest in this practical manner their 
intelligent faith. To Congregationalists especially to whom this 
institution has always sustained peculiar relations, we commend this 
cause, in the confident expectation that they will meet the call with a 
liberality which will demonstrate their devotion to sound learning 
and religion. 54 

The drive for funds was a success, and during President Chamberlain's ad- 
ministration around $300,000 was added to the college funds. 55 

President Woods's independence in religious matters and his refusal 
to further the entrenchment of Congregationalism at the College had 
brought him into conflict with some of the Congregational leaders in the 
state. 56 In this regard President Harris and President Chamberlain shared 
Woods's views. While recognizing that the College had a Congregational 
character, neither Harris nor Chamberlain were inclined to stress the con- 
nection of the College to the Congregational churches. They were content 
to recognize, as Chamberlain's subscription letter of 1874 pointed out, that 
the College and the Congregational church had "always sustained peculiar 
relations"; there was no need to define and paragraph them. 57 It therefore 
aroused attention when President Hyde, in his inaugural address, raised 
the issue of denominational control. His whole address centered on the 

Endowments and the Issue of Denominationalism 101 

relationship of the community and the College, and in respect to churches 
he stated: 

Inasmuch as the Christian church is divided into sects, and in 
view of the fact that all other religious interests are at present ad- 
ministered by these several sects, it is obviously fitting that the 
religious control of the College should rest in the hands of some one 
of these denominations. And that the College shall in this sense be 
under the control of the Congregationalist denomination is admitted 
and recognized by all concerned in its government and administra- 
tion. At the same time, since the College belongs in the widest sense 
to the community, and to the Church Catholic, every form of sincere 
Christian faith should be respected; denominational proselyting 
should never be attempted; and each student should be encouraged 
to live consistently in the form of faith which parental example and 
early association has hallowed and made sacred. The religious 
teaching should be positively evangelical; avoiding controversial at- 
tacks on other forms of faith. The College must first of all be loyal to 
Christ; secondly, it must squarely identify itself with that interpreta- 
tion of Christianity to which its history and ecclesiastical affiliation 
commit it. It must do this, however, with all due respect for the 
various forms of faith prevailing in the community at large. 58 

Considering the general relationship which existed between most colleges 
and religious denominations at that time, and the history of the College 
itself, it was not an unreasonable statement. Critics jumped on the opening 
sentences and tended to overlook the ecumenical qualifications made 
later. The Brunswick Telegraph, commenting on the assertion that the 
College was under the control of the Congregational denomination, stated: 
"That is undoubtedly true but it does not belong to the Congregationalists 

as some assert We have no disposition to try titles, but simply ask that 

the old fashioned knocker on the front door shall not be constantly rat- 
tled." 59 Henry V. Poor, Class of 1835, in a letter to the Telegraph, leveled 
the sharpest criticism of all. Hyde had put an end to his hopes of better 
days to come for the College. It was going "to remain as it had been, not a 
University, but a school of theology. It would remain as it has been, the 
teacher of dogma." What did Hyde mean by the term "evangelical 
teaching"? Poor continued: 

I know what it [evangelical teaching] was when I was at Bowdoin 
over fifty years ago. It was the acceptance of the Bible history of crea- 
tion, not only of the earth, but of all the celestial bodies, some six 
thousand years ago. It was the acceptance of the dogma that the 
whole race were under a curse for the sin of Adam and that for such 
sin nearly the whole of humanity are to suffer eternal torments in 
hell Is the Evangelical doctrine of today the Evangelical doctrine 

102 Religion at Boivdoin College: A History 

of fifty years ago? If it is, then good-bye to Bowdoin. If not, then the 

new President should tell us what it is What I complain of is the 

use of words that convey no adequate idea of what a person in a very 
responsible public position does believe. I further object most 
decidedly to the continuing of Bowdoin College as a school for 
teaching theology." 60 

Poor was not only inaccurate as to what Bowdoin had been in the past, but 
also as to what Bowdoin was likely to become under President Hyde's 

Under President Hyde, Bowdoin was to become stronger than ever 
before. It was to remain what it was always held to be, a "Christian col- 
lege," but" the denominational ties to Congregationalism were reduced to a 
vanishing point. In a study made in 1891, it was found that eleven of the 
thirty-five so-called Congregational colleges in the United States required 
that the majority of the trustees had to be Congregationalists, and that in 
the other twenty-four the charters made no mention of the denominational 
relations. Bowdoin was among the latter, and in summarizing the situation 
of each college, the author of the study noted: "Bowdoin's Congrega- 
tionalism rests on a tacit understanding that its President, and a majority 
of its trustees, shall be Congregationalists; a good basis, in the opinion of 
the President." 61 But even this tacit understanding was to be breached 
once and for all at the end of President Hyde's administration. 

During his presidency, Hyde became not only one of the leaders and 
spokesmen of the college world, but also of the Congregational church and 
of religion in general. Within the state he kept close contacts with Con- 
gregational leaders and was an active member of the First Parish Church 
in Brunswick. Yet he did not bring denominationalism into the affairs of 
the College. His sermons and chapel talks were always Christian and 
ecumenically oriented, never sectarian. In general throughout his ad- 
ministration the trend was away from denominational connections, and it 
was he, more than anyone else, who pushed for severing what legal ties 
there were, when the Carnegie Endowment Fund prescribed it as a prere- 
quisite for the College to become eligible for the Carnegie pension plan. 
Yet there was one proposal during his administration which, while it might 
not have strengthened denominationalism at the College, would almost 
certainly have greatly influenced the position of religion on the campus. 

In 1899-1900 there was a movement among the trustees of the Bangor 
Theological Seminary to move the seminary to Bowdoin. Such affiliations 
were being made elsewhere. Union Seminary had recently become 
associated with Columbia, the Pacific Congregational Seminary was going 
to move from Oakland to Berkeley, and there was talk of moving Andover 
to Cambridge and affiliating it with Harvard. The thought was that the 
seminary property would be liquidated, perhaps adapting the buildings for 
the establishment of a new state normal school at Bangor. It was estimated 

Endowments and the Issue of D enominationalism. 103 

that this would mean that Bowdoin would receive about $300, 000. 62 The 
Bowdoin authorities were approached, and in reply, in June 1900, the 
Boards voted: 

That they would welcome the advent of the Seminary to Brunswick; 
that they would permit the erection on college grounds of such 
buildings as the seminary might wish to erect; that they would allow 
the students of the Seminary to avail themselves of our Library, Gym- 
nasium, Laboratories and other facilities, and open to the students of 
the seminary such courses of instruction as they may be qualified to 
pursue upon such terms as may hereafter be approved by both in- 
stitutions; and that in general they would cooperate with the 
seminary in every possible way for the mutual advantage of the two 
institutions. 63 

The vote gives some indication as to how the relations between the two in- 
stitutions would have developed had the trustees of the seminary not de- 
cided to stay in Bangor. This decision was not made "for good and all" un- 
til June 5, 1911. 64 One can only speculate on what the effects of a seminary 
on the Bowdoin campus would have been, but it no doubt would have led 
to a very different Bowdoin from the one we have today. 

Just as there were changes in the relationship of the College to Con- 
gregationalism at large, so there were also gradual changes in the relation- 
ship of the College to the First Parish Church in Brunswick. New financial 
arrangements between the two were worked out. By 1860 the student body 
had grown to such an extent that they were no longer comfortably accom- 
modated in the south gallery, and the juniors, much to the satisfaction of 
the Reverend Mr. Adams, began sitting in the north gallery, thus "balanc- 
ing the house." 65 This raised the question whether the College should not 
pay a pew tax on the north gallery, and there was also dispute as to 
whether the College owed a pew tax on the south gallery, which it had been 
assigned in the new meeting house in 1846. In 1863 the assessors of the 
parish approached the College for the payment of the pew tax, which it 
had not paid for the past two years. The college treasurer in turn main- 
tained the College was under no legal obligation to pay the tax. The parish 
sought some amicable arrangement "by which the rights of the parties in 
interest may be clearly, and once for all determined." 66 It was not until 
1867 that an agreement was reached and the College paid the tax. 67 The 
College also made other payments. In 1868 it contributed fifty dollars 
"towards painting the Congregational Church." The following year the 
Visiting Committee recommended an appropriation not exceeding $100 to 
repair the cushions in the galleries. During these years the College ap- 
parently also kept an insurance policy of $1 ,000 on the church. 68 

In 1872 the parish began to consider abandoning the raising of 
revenues by taxes in favor of voluntary contributions. They were slow to 
give up the taxes and in 1 876 again approached the College for rent on cer- 

104 Religion at Bowdoin College: A History 

tain portions of the church building. The Boards appointed a committee 
to investigate the matter, and this committee stated in 1877: "We are of 
opinion that the seats in the South Transept are subject to tax, as other 
seats in the Church, that the College has no interest in the North Transept, 
but if it uses it, should pay some compensation." 69 It also recommended 
that a committee be appointed to investigate and report whether the Col- 
lege had any and what interest in the fee of the lot where the church 
stands, and the lot east of Harpswell Street. The Boards, acting on this 
recommendation, appointed a committee to report on "the relations ex- 
isting between the Congregational Society in Brunswick and the college 
and particularly as to what interest the college has in the meeting house of 
said Society and in the fee of the lot on which the same stands and the lot 

east of Harpswell Street " 70 

The committee moved slowly, and it was not until July 8, 1879, that it 
reported. By that time the parish had definitely abandoned the collection 
of pew taxes. 71 As to the interest of the College in the meeting house, the 
committee went back to the indenture agreement of 1821, which meant 
the College owned one-ninth of the lot on which the church stands and the 
south gallery, the latter having been exchanged for the rights to the north 
gallery in the old meeting house. Nothing was said about the lots east of 
Harpswell Street. The committee held further that students were occupy- 
ing the north gallery on the invitation of Rev. Adams, and the College ac- 
tually had no obligations in regard to this gallery. The question whether 
the parish had the right to tax the galleries at all had apparently never 
arisen. However, as a point of fact, the College for several years had paid 
the tax. The previous year it had paid fifty-eight dollars in tax on the col- 
lege pew and sixty dollars on the south gallery. For two years the tax on the 
north gallery had been twenty dollars annually but this forty dollars had 
not been paid. "Without admitting any legal or moral obligation to pay" 
this last amount, the committee felt it should be paid, "inasmuch as the 
college has been accommodated in various ways by the Parish which has 
been put to some expense thereby." The church building had been used in 
ways not originally contemplated, as for example exhibitions and concerts. 
Since the parish was now no longer going to levy taxes on pews but had 
decided to resort to voluntary gifts, the committee proposed that in addi- 
tion to the forty dollars for back taxes on the north gallery, the College 
make a voluntary gift of $150. 72 The Boards accepted the committee 
report and ever since has made an annual gift to the parish. The sum has 
varied and in 1980 stands at $600. In return, the parish has permitted the 
College to use the building for commencements, convocations, and bac- 
calaureates, and on other occasions when the College has need for a large 
auditorium. At times the College has made additional gifts, as was done in 
1894 when major repairs on the church building were necessary and the 
College, at the request of the parish assessors, contributed $200. 73 These 

Endowments and the Issue of Denominationalism 105 

historic and rather involved relations between the College and parish 
caused no difficulty when the agreement on pensions was negotiated with 
the Carnegie endowment fund. 

More important than these legal and monetary matters in maintain- 
ing ties between the College and the First Parish were the services each per- 
formed for the other. The Orient described this relationship well: 

This is a Christian College; such was the intention of its founders and 
such has been the aim of its overseers and instructors. A Christian 
College implies a more or less intimate connection with some Chris- 
tian church, and for that reason it was put in close relations with the 
old church on the hill. Nearly a century's fruitage of strong men has 
justified the wisdom of that provision. The church and the College 
have been a mutual inspiration to each other and have grown strong 
and vigorous side by side. 74 

The presidents of the College, the Collins Professors, and other faculty as 
well, often occupied the pulpit at First Parish. Many of the faculty and 
their wives were leaders in carrying on the work of the parish. First Parish 
was generally held in the community to be the college church. 75 It speaks 
to this warm relationship between college and parish that President Joshua 
L. Chamberlain while in office donated the big stained glass window back 
of the pulpit in the meeting house to the memory of his father-in-law, the 
Reverend George Adams, and that the two beautiful transept windows are 
memorials to two honored and beloved faculty members, Professor 
Alpheus Spring Packard and Professor William Smyth. 76 And it was by no 
means a one-way street. The pastors of the church spoke regularly in the 
Bowdoin Chapel and to student groups, offered innumerable invocations, 
prayers, and benedictions at college gatherings, and sought always to 
minister to the students when need arose. Friendship and cooperation be- 
tween college and parish were the rule as they went their separate ways. 


Religious Life at the College, 1867-1917 

The completion of the long sought new Chapel did not change to any 
degree the religious life and practices at the College. The old religion- 
oriented student societies carried on much as always. The routine of com- 
pulsory attendance at daily morning and evening prayers at the College 
and attendance at morning and afternoon church services on Sunday in 
the village churches continued. Nor was this pattern changed by the events 
of the Civil War. In fact, as one reads the documentary record of the Col- 
lege during the war years, one is struck with how few changes were ap- 
parent in daily life at the College. Nor did the accession of the Reverend 
Samuel Harris of Bangor Theological Seminary to the presidency of the 
College in the spring of 1867, on the resignation of President Woods the 
previous July, bring about any great innovations. 

President Harris, like all the presidents before him, believed firmly 
that religious training was basic for a sound education. In his inaugural 
address he stated: 

I have spoken of physical and intellectual training. But as 
physical training is subordinate to intellectual, so both are subor- 
dinate to moral and spiritual ends. The importance of this part of 
education has been urged by the greatest educators and the greatest 
minds in all ages 

We are in sympathy, then, with the great Masters of learning, as 
well as with Jesus and the apostles, when we demand that education 
aim pre-eminently to cultivate the moral and spiritual side of man's 
being, and to establish, strengthen and settle the pupil in the prin- 
ciples and practice of Christian character 

To the innumerable evils arising from sectarian jealousy we 
must not add this more fatal than all, of making college education 
unchristian through fear lest in teaching Christianity, we seem to 
teach sectarianism. That would be to sacrifice our own sons to the 
demon. That could be justified only by a sectarianism so intense that 
it would leave the educated intellect of the country unchristian 
rather than have it Christian in any sect not our own. The difficulty 
has been met by a common consent that every college have a 
denominational character in the sense that its religious instruction 

108 Religion at Bowdoin College: A History 

accord with some one denomination. In this sense Harvard, Brown, 
Amherst, Yale and in fact every college in N. England, and almost 
every one in the United States, is denominational. In the same sense 
and no other, Bowdoin has always had a denominational character. 
This character has been the same from the beginning. I know no 
desire or purpose in any quarter to make its character in this respect 
in the future any other than it has always been in the past. ' 

Harris went on to deplore sectarianism and called for a liberal theology in 
support of universal Christianity. He made no mention of Congrega- 
tionalism as such in his address. 

In his address he also recommended the addition of more science 
courses to the curriculum, and this was done. Paley's Natural Theology, 
which for many years had been taught to freshmen for two terms, was now 
dropped, but Paley's Evidences of Christianity, a one-term course for 
seniors, was continued. President Harris himself took over the chair of 
mental and moral philosophy when Professor Thomas C. Upham resigned 
in 1867. There was actually little formal religious instruction at the Col- 
lege. As in the past, it was a matter left to extracurricular instruction in 
chapel and church services and in meetings of the Praying Circle and other 
student groups. The Collins Professor of Natural and Revealed Religion 
carried on much of this work, but it was shared by the president and other 
members of the faculty. 

Under President Harris, some changes in attendance at religious ser- 
vices were made. Already under President Woods, suggestions had been 
made to alter the Sunday afternoon services. In January 1861 the students 
had presented a petition to the faculty "that a service on the sabbath be 
held in the afternoon at the general Lecture Room of the Medical College, 
at which the students shall attend, which is to take the place of the regular 
service at the church, the evening chapel service, and the Saturday evening 
lecture." 2 After careful deliberation, the faculty, because of "the dif- 
ficulties which embarass the question," felt they could not comply with the 
petition. However, the next year Professor Egbert C. Smyth, then Collins 
Professor, in his report to the Visiting Committee, took up the idea of 
change and suggested that four religious services required on Sunday— 
morning prayers, morning church service, afternoon church services, and 
evening prayers — were too much. He wanted to end the requirement of at- 
tendance at afternoon church services and to introduce services at the Col- 
lege at "four o'clock or a little later" to be conducted by the Collins Pro- 
fessor. 3 Nothing came of his proposal. Two years later the Visiting Com- 
mittee, noting that ever since the College opened, morning chapel and the 
first recitation had been held before breakfast, recommended considering 
having chapel and classes start after breakfast. They, however, expressed 
the "fear students would sleep rather than eat breakfast." 4 The Boards 
were not to be moved to action. When the First Parish Church suspended 

Religious Life at the College, 1867-1917 109 

afternoon services early in the second term of 1866, the faculty decided 
that afternoon services should be held in the Chapel during the second and 
third terms, conducted by the Collins Professor. This arrangement ap- 
pealed to the Boards, and they recommended that it be continued. 5 
However, the suspension of the afternoon services at First Parish was but 
temporary, and the next year Professor Packard, as Collins Professor, 
reported to the Visiting Committee that it had been "inexpedient to have 
Sunday p.m. services in the chapel as recommended by the Boards." 6 The 
old practice of student attendance at afternoon services at local churches 
was again the established order. By the end of the 1860s, however, because 
of the ill health of Rev. Adams, the afternoon services at the First Parish 
had virtually been discontinued. On April 18, 1870, the faculty voted: 

That there be a sermon or informal address (and also singing) as a 
substitute for the afternoon service in church, and that in considera- 
tion of attending this service the students be excused from attending 
the p.m. service in the several churches; that this service begin at 5:20 
o'clock." 7 

The students now had an option. They no longer had to attend afternoon 
church services if they attended Sunday evening prayers, which were now 
to take the form of the vesper services which were to prevail at the College 
until September 1966. 8 In May 1871 First Parish undertook officially to af- 
firm current practice and end afternoon services once and for all. Thanks 
to the strong advocacy of Professor John S. Sewall in parish meeting and 
the prospect of installing gas lights in the church building, the parish voted 
to discontinue afternoon services in favor of an evening service. This was 
an important shift in policy, for never before had there been an evening 
preaching service at First Parish. 9 It clearly required action by the college 
authorities, and on July 1, 1871, the faculty having taken note that the 
Sunday afternoon service at the Congregational Church had been transfer- 
red to the evening, voted "that the evening service is not one of the usual 
meetings for public worship according to the meaning of the college law, 
and that the students are not required to attend it." 10 

Likewise under President Harris there was an attempt to suspend 
evening prayers. In his report to the Visiting Committee in 1870, Harris 
had pointed out that evening prayers had been omitted at Harvard, Yale, 
Amherst, Dartmouth, Union, and Hamilton, and even at Union and An- 
dover Seminaries. All considered the step a wise one. He reasoned: 

The evening prayer follows immediately an hour's session in recita- 
tion and is liable to be attended with more or less inattention and 
restlessness. We do not think the observance is beneficial to the 
students' habit of reverence. We believe that all the moral and 
religious influence of daily chapel prayer may be more effectually 

110 Religion at Bowdoin College: A History 

secured by morning prayer alone, than by both morning and evening 
prayers. We recommend omission of evening prayers. 11 

Harris's assessment was no doubt correct, but the Visiting Committee was 
not prepared to recommend the abolition of evening prayers. 

President Harris resigned at Commencement in 1871 to become pro- 
fessor of systematic theology at Yale, having held office for only four years. 
The Boards did not make a long search for a successor. They immediately 
and unanimously chose a member of the Board of Trustees, Joshua 
Lawrence Chamberlain, to be president of Bowdoin. He had graduated 
from the College in 1852 and three years later from Bangor Theological 
Seminary. However, he was never ordained, but returned to Bowdoin as an 
instructor, holding in succession the chairs of rhetoric and oratory and 
modern languages. In 1862 he was granted leave of absence to serve in the 
Union forces. He won recognition for his role in the defense of Little 
Round Top in the Battle of Gettysburg, was twice severely wounded, rose 
to the rank of brigadier general, and was commissioned to receive the sur- 
render of Lee's army at Appomattox. After the war he returned to teach at 
Bowdoin and served as acting president of the College on the resignation of 
President Woods until President Harris took over. In 1866 he was elected 
governor of Maine and was thrice reelected to annual terms by large ma- 
jorities. In 1867 the College conferred on him the honorary degree of doc- 
tor of laws, and he was chosen to the Board of Trustees. 

Professor Little writes: "On entering upon his administration Presi- 
dent Chamberlain under the authorization of the Boards and in response 
to a wide-spread demand and expectation, inaugurated several changes in 
former college methods and a distinct and considerable enlargement of the 
curriculum." 12 Little does not cite evidence for the "authorization of the 
Boards" and "wide spread demand" for reforms, but one need only read 
President Chamberlain's inaugural address to realize that changes were 
about to be made at Bowdoin. He declared the College was charged with 
being "behind the times," and went on to say: 

The college had touched bottom not so much by the fault of 
men, as by the fate of things. But how to rise again? and how to 
begin? Young men passed by the college because they demanded a 
kind of education she could not give. To meet this exigency, to carry 
out the wishes of the friends of Bowdoin and the votes of the Boards, 
devolved a labor which I did not err in calling a task — 

It is a stupid thing to think we should cut entirely loose from the 
past, or indeed to fancy we can do it if we will; but it is equally un- 
wise to shut ourselves up in the past, and to see with its eyes rather 
than our own 

But the spirit and fashion of the past have been full strong in our 
systems of education. The monastery is not exactly the proper train- 

Religious Life at the College, 1867-1917 111 

ing school for the times. It was good in its day and place; and the 
world owes much to the faithful hands that kept the cloister lamp 
alive through age of night. But the day is come now, in which men 
can work. 

It was the cloister spirit, after all that made most mischief with 
the old college. Its tendency was away from life; the natural affec- 
tions rebuked; the social instincts chilled; the body despised and so 
dishonored; woman banished and hence degraded, so that even to 
admit her to a place in the higher education is thought to degrade a 
college. The inmates, separate, secluded, grown abnormal and pro- 
vincial, came out into the world strangers to it, and in its own simple 
phrase, fools. Now that is not exactly what the college wants of 
men. 13 

It was clear that Chamberlain had visions of transforming "Old Bowdoin." 
He went on to discuss the advantages of having more study of German and 
French, and above all of the sciences. He found no cause to fear any con- 
flict between science and religion. He did not neglect reference to religion, 
but it was in a different vein than in past Bowdoin inaugurals: 

This leads me to one thing higher. No society, no study, no 
science, no philosophy is sound and complete which does not 
recognize the highest in man — his relations with the Supreme. 
Therefore I pray for the highest blessing that can rest upon this col- 
lege, that it cherish true religion. I see a banner with a legend half 
obscured and forgotten. I take it up. I lift it to the face of day. I set it 
boldly and high on yonder towers. Christo et Ecclesiae! "To Christ 
and the Church." Not — O man of many fears and little faith — not 
the church of sect and dogma; not the church with a stake in its 
creed; not the church of the Pharisee or the fanatic; but the church 
of brotherly love, the church of the Redeemed on earth, the church 
Universal! Not to Christ the peer of Confucius and Zoroaster and 
Plato, but Christ the peerless one! Not the Christ that frowns on sin- 
ners, but the Christ that died for them! 14 

This is not the place to discuss Chamberlain's broadening of the cur- 
riculum, the increase in the study of German and French, the establish- 
ment of a scientific department with courses in engineering, the admission 
of women to some classes at the College, the introduction of military train- 
ing and the consequent military rebellion of the students, the extension of 
physical training, the gradual introduction of the elective system, and in 
general the modernization of the College. 15 Here are to be considered the 
changes in respect to religious life at the College. 

Changes in regard to Sunday afternoon services had just been made, 
and others had been proposed. It was therefore no revolutionary action 
when in September 1871, immediately on Chamberlain's assumption of of- 
fice, the faculty voted to change the time of the morning chapel to half- 

112 Religion at Bowdoin College: A History 

past eight, after breakfast. Recitations were then to follow at consecutive 
hours, and there were to be no Saturday classes, Saturday being reserved 
for field trips, preparation of themes, and other tasks. 16 The Boards had 
long been reluctant to act in this regard, but now the Visiting Committee 
without murmur accepted Chamberlain's opinion: 

The reasons for this [change in hours] are easily seen. When the at- 
tendance on prayers was the first duty, and that often at an 
unseasonable hour, the tendency was not favorable towards fostering 
those religious impressions which the service was intended to pro- 
mote. Neither conscience or consciousness could be hopefully ap- 
pealed to, and even bodily absence from both this exercise and the 
recitation immediately following was by no means a rare occurrence; 
and the excuses "Slept over" and "Sickness" seem to have acquired a 
peculiar local meaning from which the original element of 
seriousness had apparently been eliminated. Both evils rapidly disap- 
peared when the first duty was breakfast and that at 7 o'clock in the 
morning. Prayers followed at half past 8 in the Winter and at 8 in 
Summer. The four hours immediately following were devoted to the 
recitations of the day. 17 

The first academic year under President Chamberlain started with 
changing the time of morning chapel; it ended by the faculty recommend- 
ing unanimously to the Boards the abolition of evening prayers. 18 The 
Boards were loath to act, and on August 29, 1872, the faculty inasmuch as 
"the Boards did not dissent, but virtually left the responsibility with 
[them], therefore voted that evening prayers, except Sundays, be omitted 
until further notice." 19 

This left the students with compulsory attendance at daily morning 
chapel service, Sunday morning service at some church in the community, 
and Sunday evening prayers. If a student preferred to attend some after- 
noon services which were still being held in the community he was excused 
from attending vespers on Sundays. 20 There was also a regular religious 
service by the Collins Professor or by another faculty member on Saturday 
evenings to which all the students were "invited but were not required to 
attend." 21 In addition, there were also voluntary prayer meetings under 
the direction of the Praying Circle on Sunday mornings and Friday even- 
ings. Evaluating the changes, President Chamberlain reported in 1874: 

I am confident that the moral tone of the College has never been 

better,— in any recent time at least The omission of evening 

prayers, which was only reported to the Boards, was not owing to a 
weakening of moral tone or religious conviction but to a deliberate 
opinion, formed by years of careful observation and inquiry under 
the administration of my predecessor, that the best interests of the 
college — moral and religious — would be promoted by omitting even- 

Religious Life at the College, 1867-1917 113 

ing prayers and holding morning prayers at a reasonable hour and 
after breakfast. No member of the Faculty has a personal objection 
to attending or holding evening prayers, but the result of the present 
plan has fully confirmed them in the belief that we should be right in 
following all other colleges — theological seminaries — of equal rank 
with ours, in this regard. 22 

While the time of holding chapel services was changed, other things 
connected with chapel remained the same. The juniors had begun to leave 
before the seniors, a major violation of "decorum and discipline," and con- 
sequently President Chamberlain on November 7, 1871, issued a circular 
to the class insisting "as a point of good order" that the juniors must re- 
main in their places until every member of the senior class had departed. 23 
The decorum of the students continued at times to be unsatisfactory. On 
January 27, 1873, the faculty voted to give two demerits to a student for 
reading in church. 24 The College at this time had a whole scale of demerits 
for various offences. Fifteen demerits resulted in a warning to students and 
parents, a second fifteen demerits in a second warning, a third fifteen 
demerits to being dropped or dismissed from college. Absence from church 
resulted in four demerits, absence from other exercises two, delay of theme 
for each day one demerit. Tardiness brought half the demerit given for 
absence, except for prayers, where this rule did not apply. 25 Checking on 
attendance and decorum in chapel was a duty of the faculty, and to this 
end they sat interspersed among the students. The students did not like 
this, and the Orient recommended that the faculty sit apart by themselves, 
and not "as sentinels among the students, for it looks as if they come to 
prayers for no other purpose than to watch the students." 26 

The taking of attendance at chapel and church services remained a 
problem as it always had been. In 1880 printed lists were made for the 
monitors at the Episcopal and Unitarian churches of the students who 
signified their intentions to attend services there. A year later, on the mo- 
tion of Professor Charles H. Smith, the faculty voted that "attendance at 
all the churches except the college church be kept" by the student filling 

out a blank form stating: "I was present at the church on Sunday 

when the exercises opened and remained until they closed." The 

signed blank was then to be handed to the student's class officer on the 
following day. 27 The number of students attending services at other 
churches than the Congregational varied, of course, and there is no way of 
ascertaining how many there were. Professor Egbert C. Smyth, in his 
report as Collins Professor in 1862, stated that one-half to one-third of the 
students attended elsewhere. 28 The Orient on March 24, 1873, reported 
that "a number of our College boys form the choir for the Episcopal 
Church on Pleasant Street." 29 And then on March 13, 1878, noticed that 
"the Episcopal church still continues to be the worshipping center Sunday 

114 Religion at Bowdoin College: A History 

evenings, which leads to remark upon the coincidence that so many young 
ladies and gentlemen should meet for a common purpose." 30 

While not all, clearly the majority of the college students attended the 
Church on the Hill. Here they were by right and custom assigned to seats in 
the galleries. This segregation of students, apart from the rest of the con- 
gregation, led at times to problems of decorum. In 1877 a faculty commit- 
tee consisting of President Chamberlain and Professors Charles H. Smith 
andjotham B. Sewall were appointed to consider the propriety of transfer- 
ring the seats of the students from the gallery to the body of the church. No 
change was made at this time nor in 1889, when another committee was 
appointed for the same end. 31 Actually, the students preferred sitting in 
the galleries. The Orient jokingly noted that a student could save money by 
going to the Church on the Hill, for they never passed the contribution box 
in the galleries. 32 Here in the galleries the students could look down on the 
congregation, eye the young ladies, sleep if so inclined, and above all read. 
As a bit of Bowdoin verse put it: 

A prayer-book's all that can be seen 
(The railing serves him as a screen 

and hides this naughty youth). 
He's nearly bubbling o'er with glee, 
For down below, upon his knee 

He reads the latest Truth. 33 

The Reverend Adams, on being asked to respond to a toast "To the South 
Gallery of the Old Church and its Occupants" at the first annual reunion 
of the Bowdoin Alumni Association of New York, held at Delmonico's on 
January 19, 1871, recalled: 

As to ... the South Gallery Speaking literally I should say there 

was little to be seen there, except a row of boots, more or less highly 
polished, generally less, resting on the bulwark in front. Whether 
there were human feet in those boots, and human bodies connected 
with those feet, and heads attached to those bodies, and brains to 
those heads, this deponent will not now venture to determine. The 
whole Congregation knew about the boots; they were obvious to the 
meanest capacity: the brains, not so obvious. 34 

This row of feet on the railing was often referred to as "Dr. Adams' Boot 
and Shoe Display." 35 

The deportment of the students in the galleries naturally bore some 
relation to the man who was occupying the pulpit. Rev. Ezra Hoyt By- 
ington, who succeeded Rev. Adams at First Parish, was not liked by the 
students, but they apparently listened to him nevertheless. One Sunday, in 
speaking on the good effects of the temperance crusade in the West, he 
remarked that the price of whiskey had fallen several cents to the gallon. 

Religious Life at the College, 1867-1917 115 

"At the same time he glanced up to the galleries filled with 'the boys' who 
manifested their appreciation of the fact by 'audible smiles' and by 
wooding up." 36 Byington resigned his pastorate on October 1, 1878, and 
the Orient promptly carried a local news item: "It is not so hard to go to 
church now, for we have a little curiosity to see who will preach." 

The sweetest sound that greets our ears 

When our vacation's spent 
Is when some Brunswick damsel says 

"Herr Byington has went." 37 

There no doubt was resentment on the part of students against com- 
pulsory church and chapel attendance, more so in respect to the former 
than the latter, for chapel was considered part of the College. You went to 
chapel as you went to classes and professors presided, but church services 
were different. Other people were not forced to go; why should students 
be? It is not surprising that opposition to required attendance existed; it is 
remarkable how little there was. There was no student rebellion such as 
took place against President Chamberlain's sponsorship of compulsory 
military training. The Orient, the weekly college newspaper, started 
publication in 1871, and periodically there were editorials and letters pro- 
testing compulsory church and chapel attendance. 38 But there were also 
articles and letters in favor of existing practices; there was no concerted 
campaign to change existing rules. 39 

Yet the climate of opinion in general, and particularly in colleges, 
made changes inevitable. The introduction of the elective system shattered 
the old concepts of what constituted an education. Changes in relation to 
chapel services at the College in the first years of President Chamberlain's 
administration have been noted. In 1880 a faculty committee was ap- 
pointed to make improvement in religious conditions at the College. It 
recommended (1) discontinuing the Saturday evening lecture; (2) re- 
questing the Praying Circle to cancel their Sunday morning prayer 
meeting in favor of a meeting on some other evening in the week when 
faculty and students could meet together for prayer and discussion; (3) ask- 
ing the Boards for money for possible Sunday speakers, new singing books, 
and a new chapel organ; (4) singing at morning prayers. The report was 
discussed by the faculty and indefinitely postponed. 40 

The new Chapel was inadequately heated. A father who was a physi- 
cian went so far as to request that "his son be excused from chapel atten- 
dance in very cold weather, on account of the low temperature in the 
chapel." 41 His request was honored. The Boards sought to remedy the 
situation by installing a new heating system. Chapel services, were also 
moved to the lower room of Memorial Hall during the winter months. 42 

116 Religion at Bowdoin College: A History 

With the advent of President Hyde in September 1885, the faculty 
voted that prayers no longer be held on Sunday morning. This left but two 
required Sunday attendances: the morning religious service at some 
church in the village and vesper exercises, now to be held at four o'clock 
Sunday afternoons. 43 Other reforms were undertaken. In the fall of 1889 
the faculty held prolonged discussion on the problems of church services 
and chapels. Monitors, not faculty, were now to take attendance and 
report them to the registrar. He was to keep record of all absences, ascer- 
tain their causes, and report them to the president when necessary. He was 
also to make separate mention of church and chapel absences on the term 
bill to parents or guardians. Again a committee was appointed to see if sit- 
tings could be obtained for the students in the main part of the church. 
The posture of students during chapel services was discussed, but no action 
was taken by the faculty on this perennial problem. The faculty also voted 
that a list be sent each term to every pastor in town of the students who in- 
tended to attend Sabbath service at his church. 44 Efforts were also made to 
put more life into the chapel services. The Orient noted on December 18, 
1889, "President Hyde spoke in chapel last Sabbath evening upon Robert 

Browning with eloquence that had a soul in it We are having great 

chapels this year, and the boys are tending out for all they are worth." 45 

But old problems also remained. In February 1891 the Orient, in a 
critical editorial on student behavior, stated: 

A few are not interested in chapel. During reading of scripture they 
are preparing for the next hour or whispering to the man in front or 
behind. [This] may or may not go on during singing. If prayer is 
longer than they think it should be, there is that incessant thumping 
against steam pipes. 46 

The problem of tardiness at chapel did not vanish. The bell ringer had dif- 
ficulties closing the chapel doors so the services could start. The Orient 
reported in 1890 that, to deal with this situation: "The Saint Peter (S.P.) 
degree has recently been conferred upon our esteemed college janitor. Mr. 
Booker has been appointed guardian of the chapel door, and now it is only 
those who get there in time that succeed in gaining admittance to the place 
of morning worship." 47 Again, in June 1891, the faculty considered the 
problem of attendance at chapel and church services. Faculty class officers 
(one faculty member for each class) were now given general oversight of at- 
tendance and deportment at all religious exercises. 48 In an effort "to con- 
sider whether some changes might not be made in the religious services of 
the college so as to increase the general interest in them among the 
students," the faculty, on the motion of Professor George T. Little, voted 
to appoint a committee to study the matter. 49 This committee unanimous- 
ly recommended that the order of chapel services be slightly changed to 
begin with a hymn, during which all stand, and then proceed to a reading 

Religious Life at the College, 1867-1917 117 

of scripture and prayer with all seated. A majority of the committee 
recommended further than the faculty consider requesting the Boards to 
make attendance at church services on Sunday optional. This, however, 
was "not to be interpreted as at all anticipatory of similar action in regard 
to attendance at chapel." 50 

Nothing was done in respect to the last proposal until four years later 
when, on January 22, 1900, it was moved "that the Faculty express to the 
Boards their opinion that after this year the students not be required to at- 
tend church." 51 The motion must have aroused opposition, for it was up 
for discussion in four subsequent meetings, and it was not until February 
nineteenth that the faculty passed a more circumlocutory statement: 

That the Faculty express to the Boards their opinion that the college 
should no longer be expected to enforce the attendance of the 
students at church on Sunday, but that the obligations of the college 
in the matter of church attendance will hereafter be best discharged 
by the published announcement that such attendance is expected 
and that a record of attendance will be kept and transmitted to 
parents or guardians. 52 

It was clearly a compromise solution in respect to changing a century-old 
policy of the college. Church attendance would henceforth be voluntary, 
but the College would still check on it and notify parents of the conduct of 
their sons. The Visiting Committee and Boards accepted the proposal. 53 

The change was welcomed by the students, and the Orient reported 
the following October that "more students are attending the Congrega- 
tional Church Sunday mornings, under the new regulations, than they did 
when church attendance was compulsory." 54 While order among the 
students seemed better, there were, however, still some who read and 
studied during the services. President Hyde, in his annual report for 
1902-1903, paid tribute to the support of the College by the ministers of 
the town and concluded that church attendance by the students was 
"materially increasing, and the attitude towards religion is quietly, though 
fundamentally, improving." 55 

But attendance soon slacked off. On February 24, 1905, the Orient 
reported that few were attending the services at the college church, 
although they were of the highest quality and the sermons of Rev. Mr. 
Jump were always of the very best. 56 Perhaps this Orient comment on poor 
attendance led to a proposal at the faculty meeting two weeks later to stop 
taking attendance at church services. It was, however, not until the follow- 
ing November that the faculty voted: "To include no longer in official 
reports to parents the record of church attendance." 57 

There was no thought of discontinuing compulsory attendance at 
chapel services, and in connection with them old problems remained. An 
article in the March 20, 1902, issue of the Orient states them well. 

118 Religion at Bowdoin College: A History 

It is gratifying to note that students who own dogs have been con- 
siderate enough of late to attend chapel without them. However, 
there is still much room for improvement in the spirit of students 
while in the chapel forms. Some students feel called upon to carry on 
a noisy conversation and to emphasize their remarks with a continual 
thumping of their feet; others lounge about on the seats with their 
feet stretched over the form in front of them, and have not the 
courtesy to rise during prayers. More than once, this term, a hat has 
been scaled across the aisle in front of the pulpit. Such conduct can- 
not but merit positive censure from every thinking student, who has 
been brought up to reverence the laws of God and respect the laws of 
common decency. 

It is also customary for students in certain forms to busy 
themselves with their lessons during the services. This should not 
be When we realize that for years the students at Bowdoin were re- 
quired to attend two chapel services each day, we must feel 
degenerated, if we cannot carry ourselves becomingly at one ten- 
minute service Surely undergraduates can have no excuse for 

treating this, the only common gathering for the worship in a com- 
mon religion, with such apparent carelessness and disrespect. We 
hope that a change may be made for the better. 58 

The Visiting Committee noted this article with approval, but went on to 
say that at times there were no faculty at prayers, and it was the duty of the 
faculty to see that the students maintained a proper attitude. "The College 
is a Christian institution and is so administered. And though a seemly de- 
meanor at public worship is not a certain proof of Godliness, the failure of 
it is a clear instance, of an absence of gentlemanliness — not to speak of its 

more serious relations " 59 

The faculty had also noted the Orient article, for at their meeting on 
March 24, 1902, they discussed the question of inattention at chapel exer- 
cises. 60 The report of the Visiting Committee apparently also struck home, 
for on June 22, 1902, they appointed a committee of two to secure regular 
attendance of the faculty at chapel exercises and devise some plan for 
breaking up the chapel rushing, i.e., attempts of the sophomores to keep 
the freshmen from leaving. 61 Today a small plaque on the chapel doors 
still bears witness to damage done in one of these rushes. It reads: "These 
Doors Presented to Bowdoin College by the Class of 1900 by Request." The 
Visiting Committee in 1903 found that there was less to complain about 
than in the previous year, yet conditions were not completely satisfactory. 
The Trustees passed a formal vote that the portion of the Visiting Commit- 
tee's report referring "to the behaviour of students at chapel be com- 
municated to the President and Faculty with the hope that regulations may 
be made to prevent such irregularities in the future." 62 There is no record 
of any such regulations being made, but the faculty did, in February 1905 
and in September 1906, pass new regulations in regard to absences and ex- 

Religious Life at the College, 1867-1917 119 

cuses at chapel. 63 At this time twenty-three unexcused absences from 
chapel a semester were permitted, which tempered considerably the 
obligation of daily attendance. 64 

While this recital of events connected with attendance at religious ser- 
vices may leave a rather negative impression of religion at Bowdoin, there 
are other happenings during the Chamberlain- Hyde years which give a 
much more favorable picture. Among these are the greater use of music in 
chapel services, a greater effort to provide more varied and appealing 
chapel programs, and the establishment of a dynamic Young Men's Chris- 
tian Association (Y.M.C.A.). 

Nehemiah Cleaveland in his History of Bowdoin College writes: 
"Music, vocal and instrumental, has been always cultivated more or less in 
the college." 65 The words "more or less" are indeed a true characterization 
of the situation until well into the twentieth century. It was the students, 
not the faculty, who took the lead in sponsoring what music there was. 
Cleaveland, who graduated in 1813, goes on to say that there was a society 
for the cultivation of sacred music during his college years. We know little 
about this "Lockhart Society," what it did or how long it existed. An at- 
tempt to form a glee club was frowned upon by the faculty. The faculty 
records of September 2, 1831, state: "As it is made the duty of the Ex- 
ecutive Government to prohibit the meetings of clubs or societies in col- 
lege, which in their opinion have a tendency unfavorable to science and 
morality: therefore voted, that the meetings of the Glee Club, so called, be 
forbidden." 6 6 It was exactly at this time that Charles C. Taylor, Class of 
1833, took the lead in soliciting funds of around two dollars each from the 
members of the classes of 1832, 1833, 1834, and 1835 for the purchase of 
an organ which was placed in the old chapel in the summer of 1832. 67 This 
was three years before an organ was placed in the First Parish Meeting 
House — again the result of private solicitation. 68 It was a period when the 
singing of hymns rather than psalms became established. A choir was 
organized at Bowdoin, and it apparently began to take part in some of the 
chapel services. In a poem read at a meeting of alumni in Bangor in 
February 1877, Dr. Edward M. Field, Class of 1845, remarked about the 
chapel services: 

The chapter read — the fervent prayer 

The hymn both sweet and clear; 
These like the precious things of earth 

Are still to memory dear! 69 

But it apparently was the choir rather than the congregation who sang the 
hymn. In 1872 the Orient noted "the choir gave us some admirable music 
on the day of prayer for colleges." 70 The choir apparently sang on special 
occasions and not regularly. On March 24, 1875, the Orient commented: 

120 Religion at Bowdoin College: A History 

"The singing Sunday evening in the chapel was a great success." But four 
years later it asked "Why don't we have singing at Sunday evening 
prayers?" In June 1880 the Orient carried with apparent approval a clip- 
ping from the Princetonian: "Our chapel choir's singing is like drift wood 
floating on a stream — it drags on bars, but don't amount to a dam." 71 
Something needed to be done. In proposals to improve the religious condi- 
tion at the College, a faculty committee recommended that singing at mor- 
ning prayers be introduced as soon as possible, and that to this end the Col- 
lege should procure a suitable pipe organ for the Chapel. 72 The next year 
Professor Packard, in his 1881 report as Collins Professor to the Visiting 
Committee, remarked: "The chapel service has of late been made more 
impressive by the introduction of singing by the college body led by the 
organ and choir." 73 The choir at this time was a very small group. The 
Orient speaks of unusually fine music by the five members, and the faculty 
on December 17, 1883, voted that beginning with the next term the 
organist be paid his tuition and the four singers five dollars each for their 
services. 74 This was the first mention we have of paying the organist and 
choir. The faculty also asked for a new organ. 75 But in view of the state of 
the college finances, the Visiting Committee did not see how either could 
be done. Pay or no pay, the choir apparently now shared regularly in the 
chapel services. The Orient in September 1886 mentioned that chapel was 
now at twenty minutes past eight, and the editors were "glad to see the 
chapel choir in their places on the second morning of the term." 76 

Basic for improving the music and thereby the whole chapel program 
was acquiring a new organ to replace the one originally supplied by the 
students in 1832. Under President Hyde's leadership, the faculty on June 
25, 1887, appointed Professors Henry L. Chapman and Charles C. Hut- 
chins "a committee to take whatever action they deem best towards secur- 
ing an organ for the College Chapel." 77 What efforts they undertook we do 
not know, but in the spring of 1888 Oliver Crocker Stevens, Class of 1876, 
and his wife gave to the College in memory of Mr. Stevens's grandfather, 
Oliver Crocker, and the latter's son, George Oliver Crocker, money for a 
new organ. 78 On March 26, 1888, the faculty voted that the president 
thank Mr. and Mrs. Stevens for their gift and assured them of the readiness 
of the College to comply with the stipulations Mr. Stevens had made. Ac- 
cording to the vote of thanks tendered by the Boards to Mr. and Mrs. 
Stevens, these conditions were: "that the organist be compensated for his 
services and that the organ be available for practice by students at proper 
seasons." 79 Professors Chapman and Hutchins selected the organ, which 
was built by Messrs. Cole and Woodberry of Boston. They took six weeks 
for their work, and the organ cost $1,200. It was 8 feet wide, 5V& feet deep, 
and 15 feet high, finished in walnut, the front pipes richly decorated in 
gold and colors. There were two manuals with 61 notes and foot pedals 
with 27 more, and all together 381 pipes. Things moved swiftly for once. 

Religious Life at the College, 1867-1917 121 

On April thirtieth the faculty voted that the old chapel organ be placed in 
lower Memorial Hall, possibly to be used at times for "winter" chapel. On 
May twenty-first the faculty asked their committee to arrange, if possible, 
"for an organ concert for the present week." The committee was equal to 
the task, and on Saturday, May 26, 1888, the organ was played for the first 
time in public in a recital and concert at which Mr. Kotzschmar and Mr. 
Stockbridge played and the Glee Club sang two selections. The Orient, in 
describing the organ four days later, enthusiastically but incorrectly pro- 
phesied: "With these attractions, the 15 rule [allowable cuts] can soon be 
abolished, as each man in college will undoubtedly, hereafter, attend 
chapel regularly." 80 

The faculty kept up its efforts, and in June 1889 recommended to the 
Boards the employment of a choir of eight, who were to receive fifteen 
dollars each, and a leader, who was to receive sixty dollars, to provide 
music for the chapel exercises. The Boards, at the recommendation of 
President Hyde and the Visiting Committee, had appropriated $100 for in- 
struction of the choir in 1888. Mr. William H. Stockbridge was to be 
employed for that year. The next year the president, in line with the facul- 
ty vote, advised that rather than an appropriation of $200 for the instruc- 
tion of the choir he preferred $180 "for the maintenance of the choir." 
This would allow using some of the money to pay the choir members. The 
boards met his wishes; by 1894 the sum had been increased to $200. 81 To 
great applause, President Hyde told the Boston alumni in 1890 that the 
new organ and an organized choir had greatly enriched the chapel ser- 
vices. 82 New hymnals were purchased, and the old ones given to the Maine 
Missionary Society. At last the "blowing" of the organ was recognized as a 
paying college job, and the student who performed this service was to get 
"ten dollars ($10) per term." 83 But problems remained. 

In his report of 1901 , President Hyde stated that the appointment of a 
quartet and leader had partially solved the problem of music at chapel ser- 
vices. It was satisfactory at Sunday afternoon services, but at daily services, 
when the quartet was joined by a fluctuating number of volunteers, it was 
not satisfactory. He felt it would be best to eliminate the volunteers and 
"employ with proper renumeration to the leader and his seven associates, a 
double quartette, which shall be expected to make the same careful 
preparation by rehearsals and the learning of new music, for the morning 
chapel, which the single quartette now makes for Sunday afternoon." 84 
But his proposals were not carried out. In October 1901, the Orient, which 
had editorialized in May that the choir was too large and only good singers 
should be admitted, reported that the chapel choir numbered twenty-two 
members plus the organist. 85 At times the choir functioned well, at other 
times not so well. In the fall of 1907 the choir members had got into the 
practice of appearing in the choir loft just in time to sing the hymn and 
then leaving immediately. On November eleventh the faculty undertook to 

122 Religion at Bowdoin College: A History 

stop this practice. They voted that a choir monitor be appointed and paid 
fifteen dollars a year. The immediate result was a strike on the part of the 
choir, not for more pay — for they got no pay— but for shorter hours, as the 
news report put it. Only the leader appeared, the other eleven members 
sitting with their classes. It says something about the state of "congrega- 
tional singing" that the absence of the choir led to the cancelling of the 
hymns that morning. The strike aroused much attention on the campus, 
but Dean Sills was able to settle the matter by calling in the members of the 
choir and talking things over. 86 The size of the choir fluctuated; in 1913 
there were sixteen members, but we know little about how they were 
selected or if they regularly received compensation. The leader was ap- 
pointed by the faculty. On November 5, 1917, the faculty voted that the 
Committee on Student Aid was to apportion $120 among members of the 
choir, certainly not a great remuneration. 87 

The greatest step, no doubt, in upgrading the music in chapel was the 
appointment in 1912 of Edward Haines Wass as instructor in music. He 
not only offered the first music courses given at the College, but took 
charge of the choir and served as the organist until his death in 1935. 88 

The improvement of music in the chapel was but one of the changes 
for the good brought about by President Hyde. More important, no doubt, 
was his own personal contribution to vitalizing the chapel program. Pro- 
fessor Burnett, in his fine biography of Hyde, writes: "The character of 
these [Sunday chapel] services was a problem which the new president had 
to take up immediately He immediately began a practice that he con- 
tinued throughout his life, of choosing for Sunday afternoon some theme 
in practical ethics that had current interest and limiting his discussion of it 
to about twelve minutes. The effect upon the attitude of the students was 
well-nigh instantaneous." 89 It was a new type of sermon, a new type of 
theology, always biblically centered but presented in a way that appealed 
to youth. This was the period when the Social Gospel movement was hav- 
ing a great impact in the United States. 90 "The Christ of the twentieth cen- 
tury," wrote Hyde, "is not exactly the same as the sectarian Christ of the 
nineteenth, or the dogmatic Christ of the sixteenth, or the official Christ of 
the thirteenth, or the metaphysical Christ of the fourth, or even the Christ 
after the flesh, which Paul had already outgrown in the first century. The 
Christ of the twentieth century is preeminently the social Christ, and is 
greater than all that has gone before." 91 As one reads accounts in the 
Orient and other papers of Hyde's chapel talks and his excellent bac- 
calaureate sermons, it is easy to see why there was a new awakening of 
religion on the campus. He modestly noted in his presidential reports of 
1903 and 1904 that "the attitude toward religion is quietly, though fun- 
damentally, improving." 92 

Some old traditions were maintained, others altered or dropped, and 
new programs added. Just when the custom of "Seniors' Last Chapel" 

Religious Life at the College, 1867-1917 123 

began it is impossible to say. On that occasion, more were in attendance 
than usual, and at the close of the service the seniors locked arms and while 
marching out they sang Auld Lang Syne. They had a special verse to be 
sung as they passed out the chapel door: 

Farewell, farewell, dear chapel walls, 

And classmates true and kind; 
Those mem'ries fond we'll ne'er forget, 

And days of auld lang syne. 93 

At the entrance they waited for the other three classes to pass out, who 
then formed two lines and the seniors marched through. The president of 
the junior class proposed three cheers for the seniors, and they in turn 
responded by cheers for Bowdoin, the faculty, and others. As the Orient 
noted: "Not a remarkable scene indeed, for display and formality but for 
simplicity"; it is justly called "the most important ceremony of the College 
course." From then on the seniors were excused from attendance at chapel. 

The "Day of Prayer for Colleges," which had long been observed in 
many churches, was retained under President Hyde. In 1898 the obser- 
vance was moved from the last Thursday of January to Sunday. The 
custom of cancelling classes on that day was thus ended. When the World's 
Student Christian Federation appointed a Sunday in February as the 
Universal Day of Prayer, Bowdoin went along with this practice. 94 

In his second presidential report to be printed, that of 1892-1893, 
President Hyde wrote that "it is the duty of a college founded and main- 
tained so largely in the interest of piety and religion to do all in its power to 
awaken and sustain the religious life of the students." The use to which the 
Chapel was put, he continued "was not commensurate with its possibilities. 
If we could devote five hundred dollars to the payment of ten persons who 
should give an address on a Sunday of each month, the effect on the 
religious interest of the students would be marked. With such an ap- 
propriation we could secure the most prominent ministers in New 
England. I suggest this as a legitimate way of expending a portion of the 
Collins Fund." 95 The Boards did not take up the idea nor did they when he 
repeated his appeal in even more urgent terms the following year. It was 
not until March 17, 1907, that this pet project of his could be im- 
plemented. Professor and Mrs. George T. Files provided funds whereby 
outstanding preachers would from time to time be invited to occupy the 
pulpit at First Parish in the morning and conduct the college Sunday 
chapel services in the afternoon. The preachers would then in most cases 
meet with the students informally in the evening "to answer questions on 
any subjects connected with life or religion." 96 In addition the Orient 
regularly reported on the chapel addresses by these distinguished guests, so 
that it must have been a rare student indeed who did not come in some 
contact with what these men had to say. 

124 Religion at Bowdoin College: A History 

The program of "College Preachers" was to be administered by Presi- 
dent Hyde and Rev. Herbert A. Jump of First Parish. It was planned to 
have such a minister once a month, and he was to be a man of national 
reputation who had a message for young men. All denominations were to 
be represented. The program was welcomed by the parish and College. 
Actually, the number of college preachers was never large. They were a 
distinguished group as a whole and were regularly listed in the college 
catalogue down to the catalogue of 1917-1918, when the program ap- 
parently came to an end. 97 

Not only were the chapel services revitalized in these turn-of-the- 
century decades, but new student societies were formed. Students assumed 
the leadership in furthering athletics at the College. The fraternities came 
to play a greater part in the social life of the College, having largely 
displaced the loyalties which were long associated with the Athenaean and 
Peucinian Societies. In 1882 the old Praying Circle transformed itself into 
the Young Men's Christian Association. This was exactly at the time when 
the Y.M.C.A. was expanding its work in the student field and stimulating 
new interest in religion on college campuses throughout the United States. 
The Bowdoin Y soon became one of the largest and most active organiza- 
tions at the College. 

The constitution adopted in 1882 stated that the object of the Young 
Men's Christian Association of Bowdoin College "shall be to promote 
growth in grace and Christian fellowship among its members and ag- 
gressive Christian work, especially by and for students." 98 There were to be 
two classes of members. To be an active member a student had to be a 
member in good standing of some Evangelical church and be elected by a 
two-thirds vote of members present at any regular meeting. Only such ac- 
tive members had the right to vote and hold office. Any student of good 
moral character could be elected an associate member by a majority vote 
of members present at a regular meeting. Partial membership rolls show- 
ing this distinction of membership are available until the class of 1900. A 
new constitution was adopted on June 8, 1899, but as no copy has come 
down to us, we do not know what henceforth were to be qualifications for 
membership. 99 As late as October 24, 1901, a distinction was still being 
made between active and associate members, but starting with November 
twenty-first of that year, the records refer simply to admission to member- 
ship. 100 Whether the requirement of belonging to an Evangelical church 
was dropped at this time is not clear, and the minutes never refer to this 
matter. However, we have mention in a report of the association to the 
Visiting Committee that the requirement of church membership was done 
away with in 1906. 101 It seems clear that membership was now open to any 
student who would participate in its activities and pay the modest dues. At 
least in the autumn of 1906, when the association was in debt, they set out 
to recruit 200 members at one dollar each; if they succeeded they were pro- 

Religious Life at the College, 1867-1917 125 

mised a gift of an additional $200. Apparently able to enlist only 156 
members, they nevertheless were able to clear their debts. 102 

The association met with success from its very beginning. Professor 
Packard, in his 1884 report as Collins Professor to the Visiting Committee, 
stated that he had met occasionally with the association in their weekly 
meetings and did "not doubt that the influence has been important on the 
moral and religious life of the college." 103 On November 3, 1887, the 
association took over quarters which the College had refitted for them in 
South Winthrop Hall. The seating capacity was about doubled over their 
previous quarters, but at the first meeting was "filled to overflowing." The 
Orient wrote with approval: 

The new room is well lighted with gas, is neatly papered and 
carpeted, and its windows opening on each side of the building are 
tastefully curtained. In fact, there seems nothing further to be 
desired in the line of improvement or additions. 104 

When Winthrop Hall was remodelled in 1898, the association met for a 
time in Professor Chapman's room in Massachusetts Hall. President Hyde 
promised that the association would get a room of its own when the new 
library was built. By 1904 the association was established in Banister Hall, 
and two years later in a new room in the north wing of the chapel. 105 

The student Y associations, like the Y in general, "sought to devise a 
religious and secular program to supplement but not compete with the ac- 
tivities and goals of the churches." 106 To this end they held prayer meetings 
and Bible study groups, sponsored both religious and secular lectures, 107 
sent out deputations when invited to take over services in churches of all 
denominations, 108 took up collections for Thanksgiving and Christmas 
baskets, ran a book exchange, etc. In developing a program, the students 
were helped by the travelling secretaries of the Y movement and the 
literature coming from headquarters. 109 Bowdoin early fell in with the 
general Y program of providing a freshman handbook (1892) 110 and 
holding a reception in the fall to welcome the freshmen to college. At the 
latter, various professors were invited to speak as well as some students. 
The Bowdoin association from the very start participated in state YMCA 
conventions and in the Northfield and other conferences established by the 
national Y. The record books contain little information aside from the 
names of officers, committee members, and delegates to conferences. 

The Y movement always placed great emphasis on Bible study. Ac- 
tually, there was little or none of this in the regular Bowdoin college cur- 
riculum, and the Y undertook to fill this gap. 111 This was often part of 
their regular prayer meetings. On November 1 , 1893, there is a note in the 
Orient that the Y.M.C.A. hoped to revive the Tuesday evening Bible 
study. In 1903 there was a revival of interest. Rector E. D. Johnson of the 

126 Religion at Bowdoin College: A History 

Episcopal church undertook to lead the juniors and seniors, Professor 
Chapman the sophomores, and David R. Porter '06 the freshmen. Presi- 
dent Hyde mentioned these classes in his 1904 report, and in 1906 he again 
saw fit to mention the Bible classes conducted by Rev. Jump of First Parish 
and by Rev. Leroy W. Coons, the new minister at the Universalist Church. 
In that academic year, Bible classes were also organized in the frater- 
nities. 112 At Commencement in 1908 the Boards undertook to fill a long- 
felt need by appointing Mr. Roderick Scott, who held both A.B. and M.A. 
degrees from Harvard, as assistant in English and Christian Association 
secretary. 113 With his appointment, Bible study took on a new lease of life. 
Promptly the next fall he organized three Bible classes: "Studies in the Life 
of Christ" for freshmen and sophomores and "Studies in the Social 
Significance of the Teaching of Jesus" for juniors and seniors. Both of these 
were to have student leaders. He himself would teach an elective, "Studies 
in the Teachings of the Earlier Prophets." 114 The next year Mr. Scott was 
succeeded by James Lukens McConaughy, who soon was also to add pro- 
fessor of education to his title. He remained at Bowdoin until the fall of 
1915, when he went to Dartmouth. Miles Erskine Langley, who had been 
at the College one year as instructor in surveying and mechanical drawing, 
took over the secretaryship of the Christian Association. With the entrance 
of the United States into World War I, the Y adapted itself to army life at 
Bowdoin. A secretary of the Y was never again appointed, faculty advisers 
thereafter providing what leadership the College furnished the students. 

In 1903-1904 the Orient had begun to head its weekly religious items 
"Religious Notes" rather than "Y.M.C.A. Notes," and used the name 
"Christian Association" rather than "Y.M.C.A.," although the latter was 
never completely displaced. The name was apparently changed at some 
time, for in the spring of 1910 a new constitution was adopted changing 
the name of the Christian Association back to the Young Men's Christian 
Association of Bowdoin College. The constitution also provided for an 
alumni advisory committee. 115 President Hyde, in his report for 1910, cited 
with approval the Orient's statement that "this had undoubtedly been the 
most prosperous year in the history of the Y.M.C.A., and with plans 
already formulated next year will even surpass this year's record." He went 
on to mention the new constitution and then summarized the work of the 
Y. Its membership stood at 198, larger than ever before; it published 500 
handbooks and gave one to each student; Bible study enrolled 113 with an 
average attendance for two months of 52; missionary study and missionary 
giving at Bowdoin had set a record; the Y had raised $300 to support A. S. 
Hiwale '09 as a missionary in India; a boys' club had been established at 
Pejepscot, and forty students were active in this project; a Sunday school 
class had also been established there; the students had raised $20 by a col- 
lection in chapel for Thanksgiving Day dinners; weekly meetings were held 
every Thursday evening with an average attendance of 54; in addition 

Religious Life at the College, 1867-1917 127 

there were four special meetings during the Week of Prayer; four Wednes- 
day noon meetings during Lent, and four special Sunday evening meetings 
conducted by the college preachers. Arrangements had also been made for 
students to take out temporary membership in the Church on the Hill. Ob- 
viously proud of the work being done, President Hyde mentioned that 
"when the present Secretary came here he was told by the General 
Secretary of all the Associations for America, that Bowdoin was one of the 
discouraging fields for student Y.M.C. A. work in the country." Opinion at 
national headquarters had changed. ' 16 

The work of the Y continued to expand. In 1911 the Orient wrote: 
"Under the splendid leadership of Mr. McConaughy the association has 
completed the most successful year's work in its history. More men have 
been reached, more work has been done, and more interest in the associa- 
tion has been stimulated than ever before." 117 That fall it was planned to 
have twenty- two groups of five to ten members with student leaders to 
study the social significance of the teachings of Jesus (seniors and juniors), 
the life of Christ (sophomores and freshmen), and men of the Old Testa- 
ment. The final Bible study report stated that actually seventeen classes 
had been underway with an enrollment of 141 and an average attendance 
of 86 — certainly a very respectable showing. The interest in Bible study 
finally led the College to offer a course for upperclassmen in biblical 
history for the second semester of 1914-1915, to be given by Professor Mc- 
Conaughy. 118 It was taught only once, for when Professor McConaughy left 
Bowdoin in 1915 the course was dropped. 

President Hyde always threw his support behind the Y, and during his 
presidency the association took a leading part in religious affairs at the 
College. In 1914 nearly 75 percent of the student body were members. 
Hyde mentioned the Y regularly in his reports and in 1915 wrote: "Bow- 
doin is probably the first college to incorporate in its annual reports any 
statements of the religious activities of the year." 119 The descriptive 
paragraphs in the college catalogue on the Christian Association — 
Y.M.C. A. (the names were used interchangeably) stressed that member- 
ship was open to all students. In the catalogue for 1910-1911 a new phrase 
was added — it was "an undenominational student organization member- 
ship in which is open to every undergraduate." 120 This of course had always 
been true, but stressing its undenominational character was no doubt in 
line with other statements made when the College entered upon the 
Carnegie pension plan. It perhaps was also made in an effort to get non- 
Protestants to join in the activities. Some Catholics did share, and the 
students established both a Catholic and a Protestant Sunday school at 
Pejepscot. 121 But Catholics on the whole tended to stay apart from the Y. 
In the fall of 1911 they organized the Gibbons Club with about twenty 
members. The purpose of the club was "to assist each other in* the perfor- 
mance of religious duties and in keeping up interest in the Catholic 

128 Religion at Bowdoin College: A History 

Church." 122 For a time at least it was fairly active and in 1912 gave a play, 
Our Jim, in the Town Hall to raise money to build a new Catholic church 
in Brunswick to replace the one that had burned down in a recent fire. 
There had, of course, been other such denominational organizations or 
groups associated with various churches in the community. The College 
never supported these financially; it did aid the undenominational Y, and 
the latter received money from the Blanket Tax (student activity fees) 
when that system of supporting campus organizations was established in 
February 1 912. 123 

For years, the student body had been, to use a modern characteriza- 
tion, predominantly WASP (White Anglo-Saxon Protestant). Aside from 
John Brown Russwurm, Class of 1826, no Negro graduated from Bowdoin 
until 1910, when Samuel H. Dreer and Arthur A. Madison received their 
degrees. 124 As to sex, Bowdoin was an officially all-male institution, 
although faculty wives always played a significant part in college social 
functions. There is an interesting item in the Portland Transcript of Oc- 
tober 7, 1872, that indicates rules were being bent a little in the more 
liberal post-Civil War period. 

Half a dozen young women, graduates of the Brunswick High 
School, have applied for admission to a select course of study and 
their request will no doubt be granted. It has been customary for 
some years for women to attend many of the lectures. 125 

Nothing more is known about this early venture into coeducation. That 
the students sought the company of the young ladies of the village, and in 
turn were welcomed by them, is a part of Bowdoin's history from the very 

It is not easy to ascertain the religious preference of the student body, 
and this of course changed from year to year as classes graduated and new 
men entered. It became customary at commencement time to present 
statistics on the graduating class, what professions the men were going to 
enter, how many smoked, how many drank, and so on. In the class of 1860 
there were, for example, thirty Congregationalists, ten Unitarians, eight 
Baptists, three Episcopalians, one Swedenborgian, one Quaker, and two 
who were uncertain. 126 The class of 1864 had about the same religious 
preference mix with the addition of one Shaker and two Mormons. Twenty 
years later, on the even of President Hyde's administration, the class of 
1884 was made up of nine Congregationalists, two Baptists, two 
Episcopalians, three Unitarians, one Universalist, and two Free Thinkers. 
It was a small class, and as the College grew in size under President Hyde 
the religious diversity increased. In subsequent years Roman Catholics and 
Jews, although few in number, became regular members of the College. 
How many there were it is difficult to assess. In his annual report in 1904 
President Hyde mentions a religious census of October 1903 which in- 

Religious Life at the College, 1867-1917 129 

dicated that there were twelve Catholic students and one Hebrew in a stu- 
dent body of 206. 127 When, at the beginning of the twentieth century, the 
college records were transferred from the old cumbersome book records to 
a card system, religious preference was not among the items noted. From 
1905 to 1910 the registrar presented, as part of the president's report, 
detailed statistics on the student body, but there was no mention of 
religious preference. Nor was this noted when the dean's report replaced 
the registrar's statistics in the President's Report of 1910-1911. It was not 
until 1920-1921, under President Sills, that the religious preferences of the 
students were regularly given as part of the president's report. 128 The big- 
gest change was the increased number of Roman Catholics and Jews in the 
student body. In 1920-1921 Congregationalists still led the list with 127, 
followed by Roman Catholics 69, Baptists 38, Methodists 31 , Episcopalians 
27, Universalists 23, Hebrews 13, Unitarians 9, Christian Scientists 5, 
Friends 3, Presbyterians 2, Lutheran 1, and those with no preference 55 
out of a total of 403. 129 The increasing diversity of the student body, par- 
ticularly the increase in the number of non- Protestants and those with no 
religious preference, was to enhance the difficulties of continuing the col- 
lege chapel services and the program of the Y.M.C.A. Many Catholics and 
Jews did not feel at home participating in these programs and usually gave 
only half-hearted support when they did join. New social problems also 
arose in respect to the fraternities. It was some years before Roman 
Catholics were freely accepted into their membership, 13 ° and it was not un- 
til after World War II that Jews were routinely accepted as members. 


The Sills Era 

In its 1910 report, the Visiting Committee stated: "It has been proposed 
to establish in the College a new office, not one that requires a new man, or 
that deals with new work. For some years such work as keeping the rank of 
the students and looking after the correspondence, interviewing students, 
and giving them good counsel, has been distributed among different 
members of the faculty who have been called, respectively Recorder, 
Registrar, and Secretary. The proposition is to gather up these different 
functions and place them in the hands of one man, giving him the title of 
Dean as is done in other institutions. This seems to us an excellent sugges- 
tion, especially as the man abundantly qualified for the office is at hand. 
We refer to Professor Sills, the head of the Latin department." 1 The 
Boards accepted the recommendation at their meeting in June. Bowdoin 
at long last had a dean, 2 and the Henry Winkley Professor of the Latin 
Language and Literature, Kenneth Charles Morton Sills, who had been 
serving as faculty secretary since 1906, was given further administrative 
responsibilities. 3 

Sills had received his A.B. from Bowdoin in 1901, done graduate 
work at Harvard and Columbia, and returned to the College in 1906 as a 
teacher. As dean, Sills became closely associated with President Hyde in 
running the College. In charge of keeping attendance records, he had the 
opportunity to know well the problems of conducting daily chapel services. 
From his days as an undergraduate and then as a member of the Alumni 
Advisory Committee of the Y.M.C.A., he knew the ins and outs of student- 
led religious activities. He was truly experienced in the ways of Bowdoin 
when he was suddenly called upon to take charge of the College as acting 
president on the death of President Hyde on June 29, 1917. The country 
was at war, and the College was caught up with a multitude of problems. 
At a special meeting in May 1918, the Boards elected Sills president, and 
in June named as dean Paul Nixon, Sill's colleague in the Department of 
Latin, who had been acting as assistant dean since October 1917. These 
two long-time associates, both thoroughly acquainted with the Hyde- 
administered College, were to shape the course of Bowdoin for more than 
three decades. 

132 Religion at Bowdoin College: A History 

All previous Bowdoin presidents had been ordained Congregational 
ministers, with the exception of Chamberlain, who, however, had studied 
for the ministry although he had never been ordained. Sills, the son of a 
prominent Episcopalian rector, was a devoted member of the Episcopal 
church and deeply interested in religious and church affairs. Instead of oc- 
cupying the accustomed pew in the Church on the Hill, the Bowdoin presi- 
dent now attended St. Paul's Episcopal Church on Pleasant Street; the 
dean, instead of attending the Episcopal church, now attended the Church 
on the Hill. This was about the only difference that the change of ad- 
ministration made in religious practices and customs at the College. Like 
past presidents of Bowdoin, Sills was not narrowly denominational, but 
strongly ecumenical in thought and leadership. Hyde, as president of Bow- 
doin, had become one of the leaders of the Congregational churches; Sills 
was to become one of the outstanding lay leaders among the 
Episcopalians. 4 Both were intent on furthering the welfare of Bowdoin as a 
Christian college. 

In his inaugural address, a strong and succinct affirmation of liberal 
education, the new president did not have as much to say about religion as 
had his predecessors. But he did not neglect it and pledged himself to re- 
main true to Bowdoin's traditions and heritage — which surely involved, in 
the words of the 1794 charter, the promotion of "virtue and piety." 

Our aim is not vocational; our goal is not efficiency. We hold 
that the real object of education is to make men free intellectually 
and spiritually, to develop the resourceful mind in a strong Christian 
character. Education concerns itself primarily with the individual. It 
strives to make him not only a more useful, but a happier, more 

tolerant man The things of the spirit are the eternal things: they 

live on and endure when war and lust of conquest have passed. 

Changes in administration and in detail there will of course be, 
some temporary such as are already contemplated to suit war condi- 
tions, others more lasting to adapt our course to an ever-changing 
world. But we shall be true to the ancient traditions, the ancient 
heritage of this institution: the spirit of the College will live on 
When years have clothed the lines in moss 
That tell our names and day 
and we shall be true to these principles not only for ourselves, but for 
our beloved country. 5 

In his first baccalaureate address, delivered three days before his in- 
augural, he was even more explicit in reference to the Christian character 
of Bowdoin. 

I am speaking today for the College and not for the church. But 
an institution like ours, founded on Christian principles and inter- 
preting those principles for more than a century, cannot send forth 

The Sills Era 133 

from her walls a group of her sons without reminding them that she 
expects them to be in all the relations of life Christian gentlemen. 
She has tried to teach through art and literature and science and 
philosophy not only the duty of self-development, but the no less im- 
portant duty of considering the rights of others. In the complex 
modern world the proper interpretation of the Golden Rule calls not 
only for a kind heart but for a sound mind. Consideration for others, 
whether individuals, classes or nations we. must exercise, else Chris- 
tian civilization will surely fail Wherever you [members of the 

graduating class] go amid the changes and chances of this mortal 
life, may you not forget some of the lessons which your Christian 
education here has taught. 6 

One of the first steps the new president took in respect to religious ac- 
tivity on the campus was to appoint a faculty committee on the Y.M.C.A. 
This committee was short-lived, for although listed in the college catalogue 
of 1918-1919, it gives way the next year to the Committee on Religious Ac- 
tivities. 7 The latter was to remain one of the regular faculty committees 
until 1960 when, in a general overhaul of the committees at the College, it 
was abolished. 8 Never one of the more active and important faculty com- 
mittees, it nevertheless served a most useful purpose. It was above all a 
means of contact between the students and the faculty and lent its support 
to the Bowdoin Christian Association. 

In the spring of 1918 the national Y.M.C.A. had made a drive to 
organize Bible classes at colleges. Bowdoin undertook to cooperate, and 
Rev. Thompson E. Ashby of First Parish agreed to train student leaders 
who would then lead discussion groups. Thirty-one such small groups were 
organized, which were scheduled to meet for an hour before vesper services 
on Sunday afternoons. 9 It was too much of a good thing, and the program 
was not picked up again in the fall. With military units on the campus, the 
Y had shifted more and more to the type of work it was carrying on in 
military camps everywhere. On November 6, 1918, a Y hut was formally 
opened in the Moulton Union, and Professor L. D. McLean was assigned 
to direct affairs there. 10 

With the end of the war and the return "to normalcy," the College did 
not again appoint a paid secretary for the Y.M.C.A. Henceforth the Y, 
like other campus organizations, was to have a faculty adviser. The Y had 
been operating with the help of an alumni advisory committee since the 
spring of 1910. The Bugle for 1923 still carries the names of this commit- 
tee, but in 1924 the Bugle write-up of the Y lists Austin H. MacCormick 
'15, then Bowdoin's alumni secretary, as faculty adviser. These unsung ad- 
visers, usually recruited by the students or the college administration, are 
never mentioned in the college records, and it is impossible to compile a 
complete list of the faculty who served in this capacity. They were not only 
to give advice and support but were supposed to exercise a certain amount 

134 Religion at Bowdoin College: A History 

of supervision, especially in regard to financial expenditures; payment of 
bills required their signatures. 

Although the names Christian Association and Y.M.C.A. were used 
interchangeably, the use of the latter gradually ended. In October 1925 
the cabinet of the Y voted to change the name of the organization officially 
to Christian Association, the name by which it was becoming known in 
most of the leading colleges. 11 This did not mean any separation from the 
national Y.M.C.A. committee, and their travelling secretaries still visited 
the campus. Nor did it end the privileges which membership in the Bow- 
doin Y entitled the students at other Y.M.C.A.s, often reduced room 
charges. Yet it was not until 1927 that the Bugle listed the Bowdoin Chris- 
tian Association among the college activities with the note "Formerly the 
Bowdoin Y.M.C.A." By then the Y had become the subject of a college 
ballad, always sung with great gusto and hilarity. When it came into being 
and who was responsible are unknown, but it was popular in the early 
1920s. Campus wits added verse on verse, some properly best passed over. 
However, the anchor verse seems to indicate that it dates from the Sills era. 

The Bowdoin Y.M.C.A. 
I wish I had a barrel of rum 

And sugar 300 pounds 
The chapel bell to mix it in, 

And the clapper to stir it 'round. 
We'd sit on the steps of Hubbard Hall 

So happy and so gay, 
And we'd sing to Hell with Casey Sills 

[drink to the health of Casey Sills] 
And the Bowdoin Y.M.C.A. 
Oh, we are, we are, we are, we are 

The Bowdoin Y.M.C.A. 
We are, we are, we are, we are 

The Bowdoin Y.M.C.A. 
So what the Hell do we care 

What the people say 
For we are, we are, we are, we are 

The Bowdoin Y.M.C.A. 

And if I had a daughter 

I'd dress her up in green 
And send her up to the U of M 

To coach the football team 
And if I had a son 

He'd go to Bowdoin too 
And yell to Hell with the U of M 

As his daddy used to do. 12 

The Sills Era 135 

President Sills was a strong supporter of having one non- 
denominational student religious association, whether called Y.M.C.A. or 
B.C. A., open to membership of all students who cared to join in its ac- 
tivities and supported, in part at least, by student activity (Blanket Tax) 
funds. He was adamantly against denominational clubs obtaining college 
funds or using college buildings; the proper place for them was in connec- 
tion with their respective churches. 13 He was anxious to bring the students 
into relationship with their churches, and to this end the religious affilia- 
tion was listed on their college records. 14 Pastors of local churches or 
visiting representatives of denominations which had no church in the com- 
munity but wanted to keep in touch with their student members could 
always get lists of their students at the college office. 14 At times, at least, 
the faculty Religious Activities Committee furnished these lists to pastors of 
the local churches, often at a meeting in the fall when the pastors were in- 
vited to meet with the committee. 

Entirely student-led, the Christian Association managed to keep go- 
ing, but it was by far not so active as when a professional secretary was in 
charge. Receptions for freshmen were held each fall, and the freshman Bi- 
ble (handbook) distributed. Usually this was put together by the students 
but with considerable help from Massachusetts Hall. Meetings were held, 
various social service activities sponsored, and some deputation work (tak- 
ing over church services) carried on. Special Lenten meetings were held in 
1923 in one of the fraternity houses, which were led by a member of the 
faculty. Religious questions were discussed, and the president in his annual 
report stated that these meetings aroused a good deal of interest. 15 The 
press noted that at Bowdoin the Y was more active than it had been for 
many years previous. In December 1926 a meeting of the B.C. A. was held 
in the Zeta Psi House for "the purpose of finding out just what was wanted 
in a society of this sort." 16 Nothing was decided except that the college 
Christian Association needed reorganization. This apparently was ac- 
complished, and in November 1927 the Orient stated: "The Christian 
Association has started out in a much more businesslike manner this 
year." 17 It organized a series of smokers held at different fraternity houses, 
where faculty members spoke and then led discussion. In general, 
however, the B.C. A. languished in the 1920s in comparison to the 
preceding or succeeding decades. 

Two major gifts in the first years of President Sills helped to enrich the 
religious program. In 1923 a set of chimes was installed in the south tower 
of the Chapel. There were eight bells tuned so that many pieces in the key 
of C and D can also be played. On the largest bell, weighing 1 ,500 pounds, 
there is the following inscription: 

Given to Bowdoin College by Edward Payson Payson of the Class of 
1869 and William Martin Payson of the Class of 1874 in Memory of 

136 Religion at Bowdoin College: A History 

Their Payson and Martin Ancestors Who Were Trustees or 
Graduates of the College. 

There was a program of inaugural recitals on October 20 and 21, 1923. 18 

In 1926 Mr. Cyrus Hermann Kotzschmar Curtis of Philadelphia gave 
to the College, along with a swimming pool, a new chapel organ. In the 
opinion of Professor Edmund H. Wass, associate professor of music, it was 
the finest and best organ both instrumentally and tonally that could be ob- 
tained for the Chapel. 19 Whereas the former organ had been placed in the 
loft at the front entrance, this new organ was installed at the other end of 
the Chapel, in a room over Banister Hall which formerly had been used as 
a classroom for surveying and mechanical drawing. The large displayed 
pipes as well as the three-manual console, which was placed directly 
behind the pulpit, were an ornament to that part of the Chapel. The organ 
was dedicated at Commencement 1927 with a recital by Professor Wass 
and Mr. Charles R. Cronham, the municipal organist of Portland. After 
the dedicatory concert was over, Mr. Curtis tried out the organ and 
"played several selections before a small but honored audience," pronoun- 
cing himself well pleased with the instrument. 20 

The format of chapel services was well established when President Sills 
took over, and he was resolved to carry them forward. The end of the pro- 
gram of special college preachers, while regrettable, was not of major con- 
sequence. By 1914 the number had declined to four a year, hardly enough 
to make or break a program. But efforts to get able and distinguished 
speakers for the vesper services were never relaxed and were on the whole 
successful year after year. 21 Not as dynamic a speaker as President Hyde, 
President Sills was nevertheless an extremely able chapel speaker. Students 
always felt that he had something worthwhile to say, and his sincerity was 
manifest to all. 

In his report for 1920-1921, President Sills resumed the practice of 
President Hyde of referring to religious matters at the College. If there 
were any ruffled feathers among the alumni over an Episcopalian being at 
the head of Bowdoin, his words should have brought some assurance. 

Bowdoin College is definitely a Christian institution of learning. 
Founded by men of deep piety and strong religious conviction, it has 
remained true to this early standard and has in all religious matters 
faithfully observed that tolerance of spirit which is reflected in the 
charter of the college that placed no religious or denominational tests 
on either professor or student. For many years Bowdoin was in close 
relation to the Congregational Church; and that relation has been 
altered rather than obliterated by the passage of time. Today the 
First Parish of Brunswick is still the College Church; and every Tues- 
day morning the minister of that church conducts the chapel service 
of the College Attendance at church is encouraged but not made 

The Sills Era 137 

obligatory. There has been, I think, in the past ten years a great im- 
provement both in the conduct and the attitude of students at 
Chapel. 22 

Reading the Orient of that day and other college records confirms Sills's 
judgment of the status of the chapel services. But there was no room to rest 
on past laurels, and Sills constantly strove to improve the chapel services. 
They had been going well partly because of the generous number of cuts 
allowed. In January 1919 the Orient, in noting the small number of seniors 
in chapel, and that there were no monitors present to check those who were 
present, editorialized: "Compulsory chapel is not as compulsory as its 
name would indicate. If the system is not to be fully carried out, why not 
abolish it entirely?" 23 A year later, accepting chapel as "an established in- 
stitution," the Orient pleaded that it should be observed "with the dignity 
and decorum which should be its due." Students should not drop their 
hymn books on the seats with a thud, nor should they show approval by 
banging their feet against the radiator pipes. It would be better to clap 
hands or show no approval at all. 24 Apparently the custom of snapping 
fingers had not yet been inaugurated, but the remarks do indicate that the 
students were attentive at least at times. 

There had always been some opposition to compulsory chapel at Bow- 
doin, but this was never serious. To assure the attendance of some faculty 
at daily chapels, the president resorted to writing each member in the fall 
requesting him, if it was convenient, to attend chapel on a certain day; if 
this was not convenient the day could be shifted to another. The designa- 
tion of a certain "chapel day" worked very well and was observed by most 
of the faculty, although a few never deigned to attend at all, while others 
attended far oftener than on their special day. In February 1928 Dean Nix- 
on spoke on the beneficial effects of chapel, which led the Orient to 
remark: "The attitude of the student body has been, on the whole, and 
rather unfortunately, intolerant towards its daily required devotional exer- 
cises, and this attitude seems to be growing stronger rather than weaker, 
with the passing years. The daily chapel service, sorry to say, has been an 
evil to be endured by the students with a touch of the resignation to the in- 
evitable." But the Orient questioned if the criticism of chapel meant 
much; it was simply a matter of blowing off steam. It came out for contin- 
uing the chapel services. "Undergraduates at Bowdoin," the editor wrote, 
"have long boasted of the famous old Bowdoin spirit. Abolish your daily 
gathering at chapel and you will see the spirit of unity and this common 
pride crumble gradually into nothing." 25 

In the fall of 1925 President Sills appointed a committee of seniors as 
well as committees of the faculty and alumni to investigate the needs of the 
College for the next ten years. 26 Aside from expressing the need for a new 
chapel organ and mentioning the possibility of enlarging the Chapel, 

138 Religion at Bowdoin College: A History 

nothing was said in the faculty or alumni reports in respect to the chapel 
services. 27 The seniors took their assignment seriously and drew up a ques- 
tionnaire of some eighty-odd questions dealing with all aspects of college 
life. 28 They raised the question of voluntary or compulsory chapel, and the 
students voted in favor of continuing the daily compulsory chapel services 
sixty-five to fifty-four. To the question how often chapel services should be 
held "...which was inserted for the men who did not want services to be 
compulsory," out of 110 men who submitted answers to this question, "80 
wished it to be daily, 4 men wanted services to be held anywhere from two 
to four times a week." While opinion was divided on compulsory atten- 
dance, the committee concluded "that a very large majority of students 
desire that the present system of daily chapel be retained," and it so recom- 
mended. The committee found that the men who wanted attendance 
voluntary were at a loss to find a way to answer the question: "How would 
you secure attendance if voluntary?" 29 The committee nevertheless felt that 
a more liberal system should be established. Instead of a flat quota of 
twenty-three excused absences for all upperclassmen, it recommended that 
freshmen should be allowed twenty, sophomores twenty-five, juniors thir- 
ty, and seniors forty cuts a semester. 30 They also recommended that the 
double cut system (before and after holidays) be abolished for chapel, and 
that services not be held during examination periods when "the under- 
graduate should be allowed absolute freedom in planning his work." 31 

As to Sunday vesper services, the committee felt the College should 
provide a substantial sum to secure outside speakers who would be selected 
by a faculty committee. "Until this ideal can be accomplished we strongly 
recommend that the President speak as often as he is able at the service as 
we feel that he imparts more inspiration than any other man under the 
present system." 32 

There can be no doubt that the students did an outstanding job in 
their report, and the president paid high tribute to them in speaking to the 
Boston alumni and again in his President's Report for 1925-1 926. 33 In that 
report he took occasion to give his views in regard to the chapel services, 
views that he held and furthered throughout his administration. They 
merit quotation at length. 

From one end of the country to the other during this past year 
the question of compulsory chapel in college has been discussed. No 
general rules can be laid down covering all institutions. Each college 
should settle the problem on its own account. At Bowdoin it is in- 
teresting to note that in the undergraduate questionnaire a decisive 
majority voted for the maintenance of compulsory chapel. We feel 
that there are the following good reasons for maintaining the tradi- 
tional service. In the first place it is an advantage in a small college 
like ours for the college community to begin its work at the same 
time, and chapel attendance is of value on that side. Furthermore, it 

The Sills Era 139 

enhances the feeling of unity in the College. The College is a cor- 
porate community. The very word itself implies that, and in main- 
taining the proper morale it is of decided benefit to have the college 
meet as a body daily. In addition to these prudential reasons there 
are what may be called literary reasons. In these days when there is so 
little acquaintance with the Bible, it helps somewhat for the 
undergraduates to take part in responsive readings, to hear the more 
familiar passages of scripture read and re-read, and to become ac- 
quainted with the great and popular hymns of the church. Finally, 
the chapel service recognizes that religion has its place in the 
development of the well rounded man. No denominational tenets are 
set forth or crammed down the throats of unwilling undergraduates; 
but the service which is simple and dignified, and distinctly not 
secular, can do no harm so far as proper religious feelings are con- 
cerned, and may do much good. I am more and more convinced year 
by year that the daily and Sunday chapel exercises are among the 
most helpful agencies that we have in our college life. We realize that 
to have them effectively conducted we must have the good-will and 
cooperation of the undergraduates; and I think at the present time 
we have that in large measure. 34 

In answer to the question on the student questionnaire "as to the new 
course most needed in college," 22 men wished a course in biblical history 
and literature; and 5 men wished a course in pedagogy and methods of 
teaching." 35 The other wants were so diverse that no one obtained more 
than four votes apiece. A course in biblical literature had undergone a 
rather checkered career at Bowdoin. In September 1913 the faculty had 
considered establishing such a course, but "it was considered inad- 
visable." 36 Such a course was, however, given in the spring semester of 
1915. When it was dropped at the departure of Professor McConaughy, 
the students in June 1916, in their annual Y report, recommended that it 
be restored to the curriculum. 37 In February 1917 the faculty voted that 
the course be reinserted in the catalogue and bracketed, it being expected 
that Austin H. MacCormick, instructor in English, would give it in 
1918-1919. 38 But the United States entered the war; Mr. MacCormick 
enlisted in the navy, and the course never made it into the catalogue. In his 
report in 1925 President Sills wrote that "the college may well consider the 
possibility sometime in the near future of giving instruction in the history 
of religion and in biblical literature." 39 Nothing was done immediately, 
but the year after the students submitted their report on the needs of the 
College, the Committee on Religious Activities, under the chairmanship of 
Professor Burnett, "recommended that increased opportunity for educa- 
tion in religion be offered the students... through the curriculum, and that 
there be obtained the services of a full time instructor in the history of 
religion and in Biblical Literature." 40 To meet this suggestion, the presi- 
dent sought to obtain a Tallman Professor in this field "as an experiment." 

140 Religion at Bowdoin College: A History 

He was successful, and in 1928-1929 Professor Alban Gregory Widgery of 
Cambridge, as the first Visiting Professor on the Tallman Foundation, 
gave two semester courses on "Biblical Literature in the Light of the 
Philosophy of Religion." 41 

The "experiment" did not lead directly to establishment of a position 
for an instructor in biblical literature, although the Committee on 
Religious Activities again recommended that this be done in January 
1930. 42 That year President Sills again dealt in more detail with the prob- 
lem of religion on the campus. Referring to his report of 1921, which is 
quoted in part above, he wrote: 

It should always be kept in mind that the College is not primarily a 
religious institution; on the other hand, religion has a very definite 
place in all education. It is a matter for debate and discussion as to 
whether that place should be formal by means of courses in biblical 
literature, in the history of religion, in the philosophy of religion, 
and the like, or whether it should be informal by providing services of 
a religious nature in chapel and through small group opportunities 
for bible study and religious discussion. But whether judged by the 
rules of formality or of informality the College is not doing all that it 
should to promote the religious interests of undergraduates. We do 
believe that some demand for such instruction should come from the 
undergraduates themselves; we do not think that it would do much 
good to impose such instruction or such direction from above; but we 
should be ready when the demand comes. Personally, I believe 
everything depends upon finding the right man, whether he is to be 
professor of biblical literature, or college chaplain, or christian 
association secretary, would be a mere detail. 43 

In the following years the question of adding courses in religion rested 
for some time, while attention was focused on other issues. But the ques- 
tion of compulsory chapel attendance continued to be discussed. Recently 
the Orient had carried articles on chapel at Williams and Wesleyan and 
attempts at these colleges to change the system of compulsory daily 
chapels. 44 The Orient on December 12, 1928, carried a particularly sharp 
protest against chapel at Bowdoin. Yet these were rather isolated instances 
of opposition, and the Orient approved President Sills's talk in chapel in 
October 1929, when he defended compulsory chapel. 45 In the spring of 
1930 the students became excited over the World War memorial the Col- 
lege planned to erect on campus. A flag pole had finally been decided 
upon, and it was to be placed in the center of the campus where lines 
drawn from the entrances of Hubbard Hall and the art museum bisect. 
The students not only thought that a more utilitarian memorial than a 
flagstaff might have been chosen, but above all they did not want it at the 
center of the campus, since many other sites were available. On a Saturday 

The Sills Era 141 

night some "200 lusty protestors" carried the flagpole, which was ready to 
be set in place, into the Chapel and celebrated by kindling a large bon- 
fire. 46 It took until Sunday noon for the college grounds crew to get the 
flagpole out of the Chapel. There was a flurry of letters in the Orient, and 
President Sills spoke in chapel on the work of the committee which had 
been appointed to erect a war memorial. A senior wrote in the Orient that 
the flagpole affair was not a college prank, not spring fever, but a serious 
student protest — the students had not been given a chance to express their 
views. The Orient conducted a poll on proposed sites, and over 300 votes 
were cast. 47 The faculty also were in favor of another site, and finally the 
present location on a diagonal line between the corners of the Walker Art 
Building and Hubbard Hall was chosen. The flagpole was dedicated on 
Alumni Day, November 8, 1930. 

Amid this turmoil over the flagpole, the president appointed a com- 
mittee composed of undergraduates and faculty to investigate chapel pro- 
grams and recommend any changes which seemed advisable. They were 
not asked to consider whether attendance was to be compulsory or volun- 
tary or how often chapel should be held. The committee came up with 
some suggestions, and as a result minor alterations were made. Henceforth 
each Saturday the schedule for the next week was to be posted on the col- 
lege bulletin board near the Chapel. Services were to vary more, faculty 
were to continue to speak, and their subjects were to be listed. There were 
also to be some musical programs. 48 The Orient was quick to note that the 
reforms did not touch the basic chapel problem and announced they 
would conduct a referendum among the students and faculty. The next 
week a clearly stated ballot was printed in the Orient. These ballots would 
be collected at the fraternity houses; non-fraternity men and faculty could 
deposit their ballots in boxes set up in the union and library. A long 
editorial against compulsory chapel appeared in the same issue. There 
were 382 votes cast out of a total of 617 students and faculty, a higher 
percentage than in most polls. There were 87 for continuation of com- 
pulsory chapel, 295 against. The votes were tabulated by houses, and only 
Delta Upsilon voted twenty- three to seventeen for continuance of com- 
pulsory chapel; of the seven non-fraternity men voting, 4 were against 
compulsory services, 3 for continuing them. In the long editorial in the 
issue announcing the results of the poll, the editors answered the points the 
president had been making: (1) that daily chapel was a tradition, (2) that it 
was good for the college to get together, (3) that it was well to use the 
beautiful chapel building, (4) that students came into contact with great 
literature and hymns, and (5) that the requirement was stated clearly in 
the catalogue. The Orient felt a large majority was opposed to compulsory 
chapel and quoted the remark made by a student, "that we had failed on 
the flagpole question and that the strong walls of the chapel and the no less 
strong conservatism of the administration would withstand any assault the 

142 Religion at Bowdoin College: A History 

Orient was capable of delivering." In answer to this lament, the editors 
stated that they did not feel that they had failed on the flagpole issue: "We 
helped to keep it off the middle of the campus and almost succeeded in 
getting it out of the way altogether." 49 

The question of compulsory or voluntary chapel remained a campus 
issue throughout the year. The faculty discussed it at their meeting on 
February 16, 1931, but as the sparse minutes state "no conclusion was ar- 
rived at." 50 They considered it again at their next meeting, when it came to 
a vote on a rather roundabout resolution, "that no sufficient reasons now 
appear for altering the current requirement of the college concerning at- 
tendance at chapel." The motion lost twenty-two to eighteen, with three 
members in attendance not voting. 51 Well might President Sills write in his 
annual report: "Both among undergraduates and faculty members, there 
has been much discussion during the past year about required attendance 
at chapel. Probably there is a growing feeling that the time is not far dis- 
tant when such requirements should be radically altered or abolished." 52 
He went on to point out that the college by-laws provide that "all 
undergraduates shall attend daily prayers in the chapel." This by-law was 
made by the Boards and could only be changed by them. From his contact 
with board members and with alumni he was convinced that there was no 
immediate possibility of doing away with required chapel attendance. 
However, the size of the Chapel did not permit daily attendance of all 
undergraduates, and it would be wise to change the by-laws to be consis- 
tent with the facts. He reiterated his belief "that here at Bowdoin the 
Chapel has still an important part to play in college life, and that it would 
be a great misfortune to remove the sentiments and traditions, the kind of 
training and the influence that are associated with it." The Boards agreed 
with the president and amended the by-laws to read: 

All undergraduates shall, unless excused by authority of the 
Dean, attend daily prayers in the chapel under such regulations as 
the Dean may formulate. 53 

Although students had been granted excuses if they missed chapel from the 
very beginning of the College, the dean now finally had official authority 
to do so. The maintenance of the status quo received affirmation in 
answers to an elaborate questionnaire that Dean Nixon sent out the next 
year to members of a recently graduated class. Only eight men did not re- 
ply, one hundred did. To the question, Should compulsory morning 
chapel be abolished? 73 percent answered no, 18 percent yes, 1 percent yes 
if the students so wish, 4 percent wanted it radically altered, 2 percent were 
doubtful, 2 percent did not answer. If it should be changed? Forty-seven 
percent said no, 23 percent yes, 2 percent were doubtful, 18 percent 
wanted it abolished, and 10 percent did not answer. To the question, 

The Sills Era 143 

"Changed, How?" there were many suggestions such as changing the 
chapel hour, increasing the number of cuts, making it optional for up- 
perclassmen, and so on. The dean apparently was unable to come up with 
any tabulations in regard to them. 54 

Amid the agitation about compulsory chapel, other events related to 
religion were taking place. At the end of October 1930, the Chapel began 
to be used for Sunday morning masses for the English-speaking Roman 
Catholics in Brunswick. It was to be a temporary arrangement until a new 
Catholic church could be built; the site finally selected being on Maine 
Street almost directly opposite the First Parish Church. The Orient con- 
sidered this gesture on the part of the College a manifestation of the tolera- 
tion which existed at Bowdoin. 55 At this time the Christian Association also 
underwent one of its periodic revitalization efforts. 56 Rev. Chauncey W. 
Goodrich, who had been minister at First Parish from 1913 to 1917 and 
had now retired in Brunswick, lent his support and undertook to lead 
weekly Sunday noon discussion groups in the B.C. A. room in the union. 
Warren Palmer '32 was elected president of the B.C. A., which received a 
new constitution the following February. Meanwhile, a new student club 
was organized at the Episcopal church 57 under the leadership of Gordon E. 
Gillett '34. He was also active in the B.C. A. In the spring of 1932, under 
the leadership of Gillett and Palmer, the Religious Forum of Modern 
Religious Thought was organized at Bowdoin, an annual event which was 
to last until 1961. Gillett was directly in charge, and under the auspices of 
the B.C. A. twelve clergymen representing various denominations were in- 
vited to the campus to spend three days in the different fraternities. 58 One 
of the guests conducted morning chapel, and in the evening they each led a 
discussion group in one of the various houses. These discussions centered 
on "The Social Aspects of Christianity" and "The Personal Aspects of 
Christianity." In later years there was also a leader for the non-fraternity 
men. The clergy regularly arranged "office hours" for private individual 
consultation by students. There was some skepticism on the part of the 
faculty whether the students would take to the forum, 59 but the Committee 
on Religious Activities lent its support, and the chairman of that commit- 
tee quietly approached selected faculty members for modest contributions 
to augment the limited funds available to the students. President and Mrs. 
Sills, with their usual hospitality, gave a tea for the visiting clergy and the 
faculty and student committees. 

Each morning the clergy gathered, with a few faculty members pres- 
ent, to discuss their experiences. It was immediately evident that the 
students were cooperating and the forum was going to be a success. But it 
was equally clear that there was a very startling lack of knowledge of the 
Bible, of the principles of Christianity, and of religious and church history. 
The clergy, in their report to the president on their experiences, respectful- 
ly suggested "that the problems of many students might be better met if the 

144 Religion at Bowdoin College: A History 

curriculum should include certain constructive courses in religion and that 
a resident director or counselor of religion would be of great value in pro- 
moting religious life on the campus." 60 

The introduction of religion courses into the curriculum had been 
hanging fire, but now the president stated in his annual report that he 
believed "courses on Biblical Literature or the History of Religion should 
be added to the curriculum as soon as practicable." 61 He again emphasized 
that the College was "not primarily a religious institution" but that from its 
foundation it had been glad to be "regarded as an ally of religion." As 
such, some religious training was proper, but much of this "must be infor- 
mal in character." In this, Sills was in accord with Bowdoin's past. He also 
stated clearly his position in respect to another proposal when he wrote: 
"Some people feel that we ought to have a chaplain for the College but I 
have personally not yet come to that point of view." And he never did 
change his views on this issue as long as he was president. 62 

The next year the forum, when the general topic was "The Place of 
the Church in Social, Economic and Political Construction," went even 
better. More students participated in the discussion groups. The Orient 
called it a success and commented: 

From discussions in the fraternity houses the clergymen discovered 
that the greater part of the undergraduate body is ignorant in mat- 
ters pertaining to religious theory or the Bible. Because of this, it was 
recommended to the President and Dean that some course in religion 
should be added to the curriculum. 63 

It was the same proposal that the clergymen had made before. With the 
faculty and other officers of the College who received salaries in excess of 
$2,000 contributing, at the request of the Boards, 10 percent of their 
salaries to the Alumni Fund, 64 it was not a simple matter to add courses to 
the curriculum and appoint a new member of the faculty to teach them. 
Nothing was done. The third religious forum, in January 1934, was again 
most successful, and the Orient wrote: 

The chance to discuss "How can I find God" was a welcome one for a 
majority of Bowdoin Men. And the enthusiasm with which they par- 
ticipated in the fireside group proves for the third time — that there 
remains a fertile field for the incorporation of a chair of religion at 
Bowdoin. 65 

In May of 1934 the president announced in chapel that plans were being 
made to offer a course running through both semesters in biblical 
literature if there was enough student interest to warrant giving the course. 
It would be a regular literature course and would be counted towards 
meeting the requirements for a minor in that subject. There was sufficient 

The Sills Era 145 

interest, and the president appointed John Charles Schroeder, pastor of 
the State Street Congregational Church in Portland, as lecturer on biblical 
literature. 66 He was well-known on campus, for he had preached numerous 
times at vesper services, had participated in the religious forums, and had 
received a D.D. from Bowdoin in 1933. His appointment was important, 
for it was the forerunner of the appointment of a full-time member of the 
faculty to teach religion and of the eventual establishment of religion as a 
major at the College. 

Able, enthusiastic, liberal in his religious thought, attuned to the 
needs and spiritual outlook of youth, Schroeder was most successful; for 
three years he gave courses to an ever-increasing enrollment. In the spring 
of 1937 he accepted an appointment as professor of homiletics and 
pastoral theology at Yale, serving at the same time as chairman of the 
Department of Religion and master of Calhoun College. In referring to 
Schroeder 's departure in his annual report, President Sills wrote: "He has 
been of great help to the religious interests of the College; liberal and 
generous in his outlook, forceful and effective in the presentation of his 
ideas, he has left a lasting impression upon the undergraduates and upon 
his colleagues on the faculty." 67 

The vacancy left by Dr. Schroeder's resignation was filled for the next 
year by Robert H. Lightfoot of Oxford, who was appointed Visiting Pro- 
fessor of Biblical Literature on the Tallman Foundation. The ad hoc status 
of the religion courses at this time is evidenced by the fact that they were 
not bracketed but were simply omitted from the college catalogue for 
1938-1939. In February 1939 the president appointed a special committee 
to report on the possibility of offering a course in biblical literature or the 
history of religions the next year. 68 This led to the appointment of Henry 
G. Russell as the first full-time instructor in biblical literature at the Col- 
lege. He was a graduate of Haverford with advanced work at Harvard. 
During the year the curriculum committee and faculty approved the addi- 
tion of two more semester courses in the history of religions to the cur- 
riculum. 69 Bowdoin now offered four elective semester courses in religion: 
Biblical Literature, open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors; and History 
of Religions, open to juniors and seniors. In October 1946, a semester 
course in major Christian authors was added, and the next fall this was ex- 
tended into a full-year course. 70 From the time Professor Russell was ap- 
pointed, religion courses have regularly been part of the curriculum, ex- 
cept for the year 1944-1945, when he was granted leave of absence and the 
college catalogue carried this solemn notice: "The courses in Religion will 
not be given for the duration of the war." 71 But the president did not want 
religion to be a wartime casualty and in April 1945 asked the Committee 
on Religious Activities to make a study of the possibility of arranging for 
temporary instruction in religion and report to him. Fortunately, the end 
of the war brought Professor Russell back to Bowdoin that fall. 72 

146 Religion at Bowdoin College: A History 

The mid- 1930s brought not only instruction in religion to the College, 
but also a renaissance in music. In the fall of 1936 Frederic E. T. Tillotson, 
a concert pianist and teacher of wide experience, was appointed professor 
of music. The next spring the president wrote in his report: "[Tillotson] 
has during the year inspired his department with enthusiasm and has done 
a remarkably fine piece of work both in the classroom and with the choir 
and musical clubs." 73 He soon organized from among his best singers a 
chapel choir which added much to the beauty and effectiveness of the 
vesper services. Starting in the fall of 1938, the selection the choir was to 
sing at vespers was regularly listed on the college calendar; week in, week 
out, they were of high quality, as were their choral responses. Periodically 
he took over morning chapels and conducted song services. He tried to ac- 
quaint the students with the great treasures of hymnody. To this end a new 
hymnal was adopted, which was prepared especially for use in colleges. 74 

The new hymnal was, however, not a success, for many of the hymns 
which the students knew and enjoyed singing were not in it. President Sills 
no doubt gave expression to what many thought when at this time he 
stated, in chapel, that he noticed that to most individuals the great hymns 
were the ones they were brought up on, and which they liked to sing. 75 By 
1948 the number of responsive-reading books which had been "used for 
about twenty years" had dwindled by actual count to seventy- two. 76 The 
Boards in February of that year appropriated $600 for the purchase of new 
books, and the Committee on Religious Activities was given the task of 
selecting a new volume. 77 They found no book of responsive readings in 
print and so fell back, much to the delight of President Sills, on purchasing 
a new hymnal which also contained a good selection of responsive 
readings. It was a volume prepared by the General Assembly of the 
Presbyterian Church in the United States and the publisher furnished it to 
the College with the Bowdoin seal and the words "Bowdoin College 
Chapel" stamped on the dark green cover. 78 The book was dedicated at the 
chapel service on April 21, 1948. 

Professor Tillotson not only did much to improve the music in chapel, 
he also acquainted the students and community with some of the great 
religious music of the centuries. The Glee Club and the Community 
Chorus, which he recruited and directed for many years, gave Handel's 
Messiah annually to capacity audiences in the First Parish Church. 
Likewise they presented, among other works, Faure's Requiem, 
Mendelsohn's Hymn of Praise, Schubert's Mass in G, Mozart's Requiem 
Mass, Brahms's Requiem, J.S. Bach's Mass in B Minor, and J. S. Bach's 
cantata If thou wilt suffer God to guide thee. Singing was encouraged at 
the fraternities, and an annual college-wide contest in which fraternities 
competed was held. He coined the phrase, and for a time it prevailed, 
"Bowdoin is a Singing College." In 1953 Robert K. Beckwith joined Pro- 

The Sills Era 147 

fessor Tillotson in the Department of Music and shared in carrying on the 
music programs at the College. 

The well-established religious program continued to function 
smoothly during World War II. Attendance at chapel was made voluntary 
during the summer schools, which were inaugurated in 1942, and the hour 
shifted to twelve o'clock noon. In respect to this change in practice the 
Orient reported: 

Freshmen attendance at voluntary chapel this summer has been 
practically nil. Never having been under compulsory chapel regula- 
tions, freshmen do not realize what an integral factor of Bowdoin life 
they are overlooking. The sizable senior attendance testifies to this. 
Freshmen should attend chapel in greater number or attendance 
should be made compulsory for them. 79 

When college opened for the first semester in the fall, the new chapel hour 
was retained, classes starting at eight o'clock. Attendance was again com- 
pulsory. This practice was generally accepted, but in August 1944 the 
president apparently thought it necessary to come to its defense. In an ad- 
dress in chapel he pointed out that this was a policy set by the Boards. It 
was not maintained "only because of sentiment and tradition but because 
it is felt that daily chapel is... a symbol, a gesture if you wish, of the 
thought that it is also the wisdom that comes from on high." He quoted a 
statement from Plato that the "science of good and evil" is the most satisfy- 
ing portion of human knowledge, and left the students to ponder how 
many of them "ever thought about a science of good and evil." 80 There 
were in these years, as in former times, occasional protests against required 
chapel attendance, but there were also articles in the Orient defending the 
practice. 81 A far more controversial question than chapel, the problem of 
racial discrimination at Bowdoin, was now raised by students. 82 It was 
brought to the fore by some students who were also active in the B.C. A. 

This is not the place to go into this matter in detail, for it was largely a 
fraternity concern. Yet there were religious overtones involved, and so 
some comment is necessary. It had long been the practice of most of the 
fraternities not to pledge Jews or Blacks. These constituted the majority of 
the non-fraternity men. In order to give this group some voice and 
representation in student government affairs, as well as to enable them to 
join as a group in social affairs and intramural athletics, the Thorndike 
Club was organized in 1937 on the initiative of Carl F. Barron '38. This 
was an open-membership organization and, with very few exceptions, all 
the non-fraternity men belonged. 83 Although the grades of the organiza- 
tion were computed and listed, and the Thorndike Club usually led the 
pack, the club was not eligible to receive the Student Council Cup or the 
Peucinian Cup, a practice which rankled at times. 84 

148 Religion at Bowdoin College: A History 

The denunciation of racial discrimination connected with World War 
II policy was bound to raise the issue of discrimination on the campus. A 
small group, among them a returned veteran, David A. Works '42, 
brought the issue to the fore. Largely because of their agitation, five houses 
pledged Jewish men in 1944-1945, but this practice soon slacked off. 85 In 
January 1946 the Thorndike Club petitioned the administration for the 
status of a local fraternity. In their letter they stated: "The Club feels that 
if it were recognized as a local fraternity with a Greek letter name, it will be 
more capable of pursuing the democratic policy of the organization. We 
have pledged ourselves to exclude no man from our membership because 
of color or religious ideologies." 86 As an earnest of this pledge they had 
chosen the name of Alpha Rho Upsilon; ARU could also be said to stand 
for "All Races United." The Orient vehemently opposed the move: 

Let's review the facts. The fraternities here have refused to come 
out with a definite stand on where Bowdoin's Jews belong. They just 
refuse to take the men in. So, a group of members of the 
predominantly Jewish Thorndike Club started with a small provision 
to change their constitution to form a non-sectarian fraternity 

However, if the new fraternity is formed, we see only one 
possibility: It will be the place where every Jewish boy will be 
pledged. It will solve the conscience of the Christians here on cam- 
pus. It will take the Hebrews out of the "socially imposed" ex- 
clusiveness of the dorms and put them into a house with a Greek let- 
ter name. Some of the alumni will sigh and the rest won't care 

The student body of Gentiles will dust off their signs of "Juden Ver- 
boten" and hang them on their beautiful fraternity houses. And at 
long last the dreams of democracy which have been breeding in the 
hearts of the Jewish students — who are really children of God too — 
will be abolished and smashed. Joe Bowdoin says: "They are Jews and 
we glory in the title of Christian Gentlemen" 

Several of the houses are extremely anxious to pledge Jews, but 
the national charter or the "Democratic" black-ball, whereby one or 
two members can stop a majority, has hindered their pledging. 
Hitler and Goebbels have at last invaded that stronghold of 
American education — Bowdoin College. We have won the physical 
war, but we are losing the spiritual peace. 

The Orient is opposed to the idea of the new fraternity. We do 
not believe it is the only alternative; it is the easy way out and we 
refuse to throw in the towel. We shall continue to work for the day 
when prejudice, selfishness, complacency, and ignorance will give 
way to democracy on our campus. 87 

It was a hard-hitting editorial which, along with the Thorndike Club 
petition, did much to bring the problem of racial discrimination out into 
the open. James B. Longley '48, later to become the first independent 
governor of Maine, in the first student-led chapel of the second semester, 

The Sills Era 149 

scorned racial prejudice on the campus. 88 Several faculty members joined 
the chorus in their chapel talks. The faculty committee appointed to con- 
sider the Thorndike Club petition, after consultation with representatives 
of the club, recommended to the faculty that the club be permitted to 
change its name to Alpha Rho Upsilon if it so desired, that the request to 
be known as a local fraternity be laid on the table for the time being, and 
that the college provide suitable clubrooms for the organization. 89 A tem- 
porary recreation room for ARU was arranged in Moore Hall, and in 
December 1946 the ARU Club, having given renewed assurances that it 
would not resort to any discriminatory policy, was given recognition as a 
local fraternity. 90 Most of the members came to live in Hyde Hall, and they 
ate in the Moulton Union. In April 1948 they bought the Campus Lodge at 
204 Maine Street and in 1952, when the Sigma Nus purchased the Baxter 
House on College Street, the ARUs purchased the former Sigma Nu pro- 
perty on Maine Street, selling their former house. 91 

The general status of fraternities on the campus became a hotly 
discussed subject on campus at this time. The Orient issued a special edi- 
tion in which, among other reforms, it called for: 

A rule, enforced by the College, that all national fraternities 
represented at Bowdoin eliminate from their constitutions any 
undemocratic stipulations which forbid pledging and initiation for 
reasons of race, color, or creed, with the alternative of the 
withdrawal of their Bowdoin chapters. 92 

This was a bold program and, considering past policy of the College 
towards fraternity autonomy, not one to be implemented overnight. Yet it 
was a goal, and there were those on campus who kept pushing to achieve it. 
It is difficult to recall how deep-seated prejudices and attitudes were. In 
January 1947 the B.C. A., Political Forum, and Student Council jointly 
sponsored a poll to determine student opinion on discrimination. Ques- 
tions were asked which no one would think of asking in 1981. Out of 963 
students 537 participated. They opposed a quota system for admission of 
Jews (60.7 percent), Negroes (70.4 percent), Catholics (90.9 percent), and 
Orientals (74.2 percent). The fraternity practice of restricting pledging of 
students on account of race, color, or creed was condemned by 64.4 per- 
cent. Only 69.7 percent favored employment of properly qualified Negro 
faculty members. As to completely unsegregated housing for members of 
all races in their home towns, 55.8 percent were opposed to it, but 76.3 
percent endorsed it for the campus. 93 With such a constituency it is not 
surprising that the campaign against racial discrimination moved slowly. 

In April 1947 the B.C. A. asked the administration for aid in fighting 
racial discrimination in the fraternities. They were advised that the first 
step was to have each fraternity report on such discriminatory restrictions 
to the faculty Committee on Fraternities headed by Professor Stanley P. 

150 Religion at Bowdoin College: A History 

Chase, which would then collate the material. 94 This was a special, not a 
regular, faculty committee and is not listed in the catalogue. It ultimately 
was successful in getting the faculty to adopt a policy that no new fraternity 
would be permitted to be established on campus whose membership was 
restricted by race, color, or creed. 95 

The B.C. A. was particularly active at this time. It had broadened its 
participation and had even chosen a Jewish student as its president. It had 
committees to head up its various activities, and its Fraternity Policy Com- 
mittee submitted to the president a petition signed by 171 students in- 
cluding five fraternity presidents and nine student council represen- 
tatives. 96 The president passed the petition to the faculty Committee on 
Fraternity Policy for its consideration. This committee approved of the re- 
quests mentioned in the petition, and its report was overwhelmingly ac- 
cepted by the faculty. 97 Two of the proposals were to go into effect im- 
mediately. The president at an opportune time would affirm the position 
of the College as disapproving discrimination in Bowdoin fraternities 
through membership restrictions. Henceforth the Dean's Office would also 
no longer supply information on the religious affiliation of incoming 
students for purposes of fraternity rushing. The faculty committee also had 
drawn up a statement on fraternity policy in regard to election of members 
that included the College's position in respect to discriminatory practices, 
and which they recommended be included in the college catalogue, along 
with a brief statement as to fraternity dues and expenses. This proposal 
was referred to the Governing Boards. The Examining Committee of the 
Boards objected to such a statement, 98 and it never made its way into the 
college catalogue. 

While in the beginning the problem of racial discrimination involved 
the status of Jewish students, it soon embraced the admission of Blacks to 
the fraternities. This first came to the fore when a member of the class of 
1949 was pledged to two fraternities, which were forced to cancel his 
pledge due to alumni pressure and restricting clauses in their charters. 99 
He finally was accepted as a member by Delta Upsilon, but when that 
fraternity pledged a second Black, over the opposition of some alumni but 
with the strong support of others, the local D.U. members chose to drop 
their national affiliation and become Delta Sigma, a local fraternity. In 
this dispute with the national headquarters and with some alumni, the 
students had the warm and unfailing support of President Sills. The 
number of local fraternities had now grown to two; the numbers were to 
increase before the issue of racial discrimination was settled. But the path 
had been charted; diversity of race and religion in the fraternities slowly 
but surely became a reality. 

During these years when the issue of racial discrimination held the 
spotlight, the chapel program functioned smoothly. In September 1948, 
when the College went on a unique program of rotating class hours from 

The Sills Era 151 

year to year, the chapel hour was shifted from ten minutes after twelve to 
ten minutes after ten. 100 Attendance increased. In the spring of 1951, 
Dean Nathaniel C. Kendrick changed the attendance requirement for dai- 
ly chapel as he had done earlier for the vesper services. Instead of a student 
being marked absent, he was asked to attend a certain number of times 
each semester. The new system proved popular with the students, and it 
received warm commendation from President Sills. 101 As always there was 
some discussion of required chapel attendance. A faculty committee was 
appointed in 1950 to study various complaints about chapel services. 102 
They suggested that the acoustical properties of the Chapel — a matter of 
complaint ever since the Chapel was built — should be remedied as soon as 
possible. It was thought that installing a tiled ceiling would help, but this, 
the president pointed out in his annual report, would cost about $15,000, 
and the money was not available. At times students with an eye on the 
faculty would make reference to the phrase in President Hyde's famous 
"Offer of the College," "to form character under professors who are Chris- 
tians." In his annual report in 1951, Sills referred to this statement and 

Anyone who knew Dr. Hyde at all well is sure that he would use this 
term in no narrow or restrictive sense. He meant, I think, that the 
members of the faculty should be aware of the fact that Bowdoin is a 
Christian college; that they should keep in mind the role which 
religion plays in education; that they should recognize the impor- 
tance of the spiritual, and set forth the essential characteristics of the 
Christian attitude. 103 

In short, as President Sills once told the writer, the College could not ex- 
pect all members of the faculty to be members of a church, or to be active 
in church affairs. It could, however, expect of them not to scoff at religion 
and the churches. The faculty at Bowdoin had changed from the time 
when many of them were ordained clergymen, but how about their 
religious affiliation? Sills made an informal census of the ninety-five men 
whose names appeared in the current catalogue under the title Officers of 
Instruction and Government, and he found "of these, some fifty-five could 
well be listed as having active associations with some church, twenty-eight 
as having nominal membership, and twelve as having neither status, 
although in this latter group several had in their families active church 
membership." He was the last person to claim accuracy for such an evalua- 
tion, but he felt it was "worth recording as a protest against the common 
idea that our colleges are hotbeds of irreligion and atheism." 104 

Sills was constant in his reiteration that Bowdoin is a Christian col- 
lege, as was demonstrated by its history, tradition, and teaching. In March 
1952 there was a sharp letter in the Orient attacking the Blanket Tax allot- 
ment of $1,500 to the B.C. A., which was using the money to sponsor the 

152 Religion at Bowdoin College: A History 

religious forum. The forum, which was to stimulate religious thinking 
among undergraduates, was all right, but the means by which the B.C. A. 
was able to do this was reprehensible. "According to the College Catalogue 
Bowdoin has been non-sectarian since 1908. There is therefore no justifica- 
tion in its continued support of a Christian Association Why... does the 

College compel Atheists, Agnostics and non-Christians to support an 
organization which opposes their beliefs?" 105 The president was not slow in 
answering the letter in a chapel address, in which he pointed out the dif- 
ference between non-sectarian and non-Christian, terms which the student 
had misused. He termed the opinion of the student callow and asserted 
that "as long as I am President this will be a Christian College." 106 That 
June, at the last commencement over which he presided, the class of 1942 
placed a brass cross on the wall back of the pulpit and dedicated this age- 
old symbol of Christianity to the memory of eight classmates who had lost 
their lives in World War II. 107 

Just what is a Christian college was a question which was being raised 
in academic circles at this time. In February 1952 the President appointed 
a special committee to study this question. 108 In the summer of that year a 
conference centering on that topic was held at Cedar Crest College in 
Pennsylvania. Representatives from many colleges, including Bowdoin, at- 
tended. 109 Hard and fast criteria or guidelines were not drawn up at the 
meeting — nor were they expected. It was clear, however, that Bowdoin in 
the best sense of that term was a Christian college. 110 It was the kind of a 
college President Sills had received from the hands of President Hyde, and 
the kind he handed over to James Stacy Coles in October 1952. 


The Recent Decades 

The College celebrated the one -hundred -and -fiftieth anniversary of its 
opening at Commencement in June 1952, a fitting opportunity to honor 
the many years of service by President and Mrs. Sills. It was not until after 
the next academic year had begun that President Coles took office on Oc- 
tober 1. In his inaugural address two weeks later, he affirmed his support 
of the liberal arts and the values which the College had upheld throughout 
its past. 

Our colleges must not allow the lack of specific goals which is 
customarily associated with the liberal arts program to be translated 
in its graduates into vagueness of achievement in their life work. Nor 
can we allow our emphasis on freedom from restraint to be ex- 
trapolated into freedom from responsibility. We must educate for 

responsibility We must not only educate for responsibility, but we 

must be sure our education includes responsibility beyond that to our 
own freedom. It must include responsibility to our community, our 
nation, our society, and our God. This responsibility has ancient 
tradition. That it is more blessed to give than it is to receive is a 
Christian concept compatible with Bowdoin's tradition as a Christian 
college. This tradition has grown from the needs of the community 
rather than from fiat of charter. The Christian heritage and mores of 
the larger community in these United States is so great that there will 
always be need for Bowdoin as a Christian college. She will remain 
so, and will, with the help and guidance of God, continue to educate 
in knowledge and in virtue and in piety. 1 

In the 1945-1946 college catalogue there had been inserted, after the 
traditional historical sketch, an attractive page giving a quotation from the 
college charter stating the purpose of the College, and also Hyde's "Offer 
of the College." To these statements in 1960-1961, the closing words of 
President Coles's inaugural address on the need for Bowdoin as a Christian 
college were added under the rubric "Knowledge, Virtue and Piety." 

An Episcopalian layman, active in church affairs, Coles did not have 
the ministerial background or training of his predecessors as president of 
the College. But he lent his full and active support to the chapel program 

154 Religion at Bowdoin College: A History 

and to other religious activities on the campus. He took his share of daily 
and Sunday chapel services but did not speak as often and regularly as did 
President Sills. 2 His activity in the capital fund campaign often took him 
away from the campus. Educated as a chemist and with a broad interest in 
scientific matters, he undertook to improve the acoustics in the Chapel. In 
the spring of 1953, flags of the first thirteen colonies and Maine were hung 
in the Chapel in an effort to improve speaking conditions. 3 This was fol- 
lowed the next year by placing acoustic tiles upon the wall above the 
gallery over the entrance and by laying full carpeting to replace the tile 
flooring. 4 A public address system was installed, and tape recordings were 
made of chapel addresses. A faculty committee was appointed to collect 
these talks with a view towards possible future publication. 5 It never did 
come to this, but it was a stimulus for a time to better preparation of 
chapel talks by members of the faculty. The improvements helped but did 
not entirely solve the acoustic problems in the Chapel. 

It did not take long for a discordant letter to appear in the Orient. In 
April 1953 the same student who had attacked granting Blanket Tax 
money to the B.C. A. the year before, drawing a sharp answer from Presi- 
dent Sills, wrote another letter. This time he complained about the cross 
which had been added to the decor of the chapel. He had been eyeing it for 
a semester and a half; it emphasized the religious nature of the chapel ser- 
vices and reminded you that you were compelled to attend them. 6 The 
next week brought a forceful answer in the Orient by another student, and 
the issue subsided. A year later, in March 1954, this same student crusader 
again attacked the chapel program because it was a religious service; the 
Sunday vespers were even more religious than the daily ones. 7 No one 
should be compelled to attend religious services. His letter is of some in- 
terest because he stresses the religious nature of the chapels, whereas the 
most often heard criticism was that they were secular, worldly, and not 
proper chapel services. 

A Newman Club had been organized at Bowdoin, but under the 
longtime Bowdoin policy, strongly maintained by President Sills, it was 
centered off campus and received no student activity funds. In May 1954 
this group requested permission to form the Newman Club of Bowdoin 
College and to affiliate with the National Organization of Newman Clubs. 
They also asked for the privilege of using college buildings, that the notice 
of the Newman Club continue to be carried in the college handbook; and 
that the club be given the privilege of using college bulletin boards. The 
dean referred their letter to the Religious Activities Committee for their 
advice. The committee was split, three to two: three members were willing 
to grant them all their requests; the other two members held back on some 
points. The latter preferred the Newman Club at Bowdoin College to the 
Newman Club of Bowdoin, a slight but nevertheless significant difference. 
While willing to grant the club the privilege of using some college facilities 

The Recent Decades 155 

for occasional lectures, they wanted no regular use of college buildings. 
The headquarters should be off campus; there were no differences on the 
use of bulletin boards. 8 No clear-cut decision was reached by the dean as to 
future policy in regard to such denominational clubs. For the time being 
the old policy of supporting one non-denominational religious organiza- 
tion was maintained. 

The B.C. A. had for some time been contemplating a change of names 
so as to broaden its membership and make it more acceptable to Catholics 
and non-Christian students. 9 In the fall of 1954, at a special meeting with 
nine members present, they decided henceforth to be known as the Bow- 
doin Interfaith Forum (B.I.F.), deriving their name from the popular 
religious forums conducted by the B.C. A. since 1932. 10 The new name, ex- 
cept perhaps at the very beginning, failed to win the support of those 
students who had always stood aloof. In May 1956 the editor of the Orient 
levied a sharp attack on the organization, opposing its grant of Blanket 
Tax funds. 

A sizeable group of undergraduates at Bowdoin are Roman 
Catholics. If they are good Catholics they cannot support the BIF in 
any way whatsoever. Should Roman Catholics, who do not wish to af- 
filiate with the BIF be compelled to support it? We think not. 

Likewise, there is a portion of undergraduates who simply lack 
any formal religion. Why should they be required to support a 
religious group? They certainly won't have to once they graduate. 

Thirdly, there is a goodly number of students attending 
churches or synagogues who simply find enough religious fellowship 
without belonging to the BIF. Why should they be required to sup- 
port it? 

In our estimation the BIF organization puts the cart before the 
horse anyway. There should be religious groups, supported by the 
various sects, before an interfaith forum is formed. These groups, 
through their own volition, could form an interfaith forum if they 
felt that the exchange of ideas on religious matters was valuable. 11 

It is doubtful if this blast truly mirrored the views of most Catholics on 
campus, but it was in line with the teaching of Bishop Daniel J. Feeney of 
the Portland diocese at this time. He was not ecumenically minded and 
two years later forbade Catholic parents and students to attend high school 
baccalaureate services. The bishop pointed out in his letter to parish 
priests "that Roman Catholics must not attend religious services of another 
faith. The format of baccalaureate rites is always that of New England 
Congregationalism and therefore violates the consciences of those who are 
not products of this tradition." 12 The bishop's edict was generally inter- 
preted as applying to colleges as well. President Coles met the challenge 
head-on and stated that the College would in no way alter its traditional 

156 Religion at Bowdoin College: A History 

services, which were held in the First Parish Church, the president giving 
the address and the pastor of the church usually giving the invocation and 
benediction. Attendance had always been voluntary, but he took occasion 
to point out "that every man who elects to attend Bowdoin College is fully 
advised of compulsory chapel attendance requirements during the 
academic year." 13 

During 1954-1955 the College undertook an elaborate self-study pro- 
ject under a grant from the Ford Foundation. There were few topics cover- 
ing the College which were not investigated by the committee in charge 
and by numerous sub-committees, although the project primarily dealt 
with curricular matters. The one aspect of college life which seems to have 
been studiously avoided in the lengthy report of the committee was the 
matter of chapel. This omission is all the more remarkable inasmuch as the 
questionnaire sent to the alumni asked them to check five extracurricular 
activities which seemed the most worthwhile to them and among those 
listed was "Chapel." 14 In this list of extracurricular activities, no mention 
was made of the B.C. A., certainly the activity with the longest history at 
the College. Nor is the B.C. A. referred to in the section on Extra- 
curricular Activities. 15 Even in the reference to the Tallman Professors 
made in the report, no mention is made of the professors who taught 
religion courses, although there had been three of them. 16 It is as if the 
Chapel and religion were no longer part of what was called "The Conser- 
vative Tradition in Education at Bowdoin College." But obviously this was 
not the case; it was an omission in the self-study report which has generally 
gone unnoticed. 

The committee did cover the problem of racial discrimination. It 
came out for the retention of fraternities, but "since admission to Bowdoin 
is free from discrimination for reasons of race, color, or creed, the admis- 
sions practice of Bowdoin fraternities [should] be equally freed from 
discrimination for reasons of race, color, or creed." To this end, no new 
fraternity which had a discriminatory clause would be admitted to the 
campus, and each fraternity that had discriminatory clauses on race, col- 
or, or creed was to "report annually to the Faculty on its efforts to ease or 
eliminate discriminatory clauses and practices at both the local and the na- 
tional level." 17 The College would review these efforts and if they were 
found to "lack sincerity, consistency, or results, it will consider taking 
drastic action." What "consider taking drastic action" meant was not 
spelled out. It was good to have these statements put into writing and for- 
mally adopted; they were, however, but a formulation of the policies 
worked out during the last years of Sills's administration. 18 

Self-study or not, the chapel programs and the Bowdoin Interfaith 
Forum activities went their accustomed ways. Students were able to get 
representatives of the Jewish and Catholic faiths to join with others in car- 
rying on the annual religious forums, which regularly were successful. But 

The Recent Decades 157 

there also were periodic protests against compulsory attendance at chapel 
services. In December 1961 a member of the faculty joined the fray. 19 He 
centered his remarks on the provision of the by-laws stating that 
undergraduates should attend daily prayers under such regulations as the 
dean may formulate. Prayer was no longer the important thing about 
chapel services; in fact at times it was omitted altogether. The chapel talk 
was now the important part of the service, and why should students be re- 
quired to listen to it? There might well be occasional college assemblies 
and also daily religious services for those who desired them; at neither 
should attendance be required. 

President Coles immediately took steps to clarify what the position of 
the College was in regard to chapel. In a note to the college editor on 
January 3, 1962, he suggested that the statement in the college catalogue 
that attendance at religious exercises "is governed by regulations laid down 
by the College" be changed to read "is required according to regulations of 
the College." 20 This was done. He also requested the director of admissions 
to include a statement regarding chapel attendance requirements on forms 
supplied applicants for admission. In a chapel talk a week later he warmly 
defended the chapel services and concluded: "I find it difficult to deny the 
view that in a broad sense chapel is a useful and viable instrument, and a 
symbol of collegiate concern... a token, at least, of a desirable interest in a 
common good." 21 Other members of the faculty came out in support of the 
daily chapel services, and there were editorials pro and con in the Orient. 22 
There were also public manifestations against chapel attendance. At times 
some students refused to stand when the hymns were sung. The cross was 
surreptitiously removed from behind the lectern and hidden in the custo- 
dian's closet. The attacks against compulsory attendance at the chapel ser- 
vices kept growing in intensity in the next few years until vespers and daily 
chapel services were ended. 

The fall of 1962 brought the multiplication of deanships at the col- 
lege. Dean Kendrick now took over as dean of the College and Assistant 
Professor Arthur LeRoy Greason became dean of students. The new dean, 
who believed that if you had regulations they should be obeyed and en- 
forced, 23 sent out letters at the end of the semester reminding a good 
number of students that they were delinquent in attendance at chapel. 
This resulted in a protest demonstration when on January 9, 1963, the 
chapel was jammed (fdled past capacity), and the United Press Interna- 
tional carried it as a news item. 24 The Orient marked the event with a long 
editorial opposing compulsory attendance, and in return the next issue 
brought a letter expressing a contrary opinion. 25 The issue was kept alive in 
the Orient and in May reached a climax. The ARU fraternity passed a 
resolution calling for the dean to suspend the chapel requirement. 26 It 
asked the other fraternities and independents to discuss such a resolution 
and then unite in a petition to the dean, who would be asked to present the 

158 Religion at Bowdoin College: A History 

matter to the Governing Boards. It was felt that previous attempts by in- 
dividuals to change requirements had not been successful and the ad- 
ministration had done nothing; concerted action by the fraternities could 
not be so easily ignored. 

The B.C. A. voted to support the ARU resolution as did the Student 
Council, which appointed a committee to study the problem over the sum- 
mer. 27 At the end of May the petition signed by nine fraternities was 
presented to the president. The Orient commented that the students did 
not want to abolish chapel completely, "for as the President had indicated 
in his May 10 chapel address there are many significant reasons to main- 
tain the chapel on the Bowdoin Campus." 28 The students felt that changes 
must be made in order to increase the significance of chapel, but they did 
not discuss or give thought to how the abolition of compulsory attendance 
would accomplish this end. 

The Student Council informed the president of its appointment of a 
committee to study the chapel program over the summer but requested 
no action on the part of the administration. In answer to the petition from 
the fraternities, President Coles expressed his willingness to appoint a 
faculty committee which would consult with the student council com- 
mittee. Robert S. Frank '64, who was the leading spirit in the whole protest 
movement, expressed his wish for a joint faculty- student committee, and 
that Dean Greason and Mr. Philip Wilder, assistant to the president, be on 
the committee so as to give it standing and to represent the administra- 
tion. 29 On October 14, 1963, President Coles appointed a Committee on 
Consideration of the Chapel Program consisting of Dean Greason as chair- 
man, Professors Geoghegan (Religion), Taylor (Sociology), Chittim 
(Mathematics), and Leith (Romance Languages), with Dean Kendrick 
and Mr. Wilder as ex-officio members. 30 In a letter to the committee, the 
president stated: 

It shall be the duty of this committee to consider the Chapel pro- 
gram at Bowdoin College, relative to its contribution to the develop- 
ment of the individual student, and his interests and his attitudes 
toward those affairs which may not be immediately concerned with 
an individual's own academic program. The many factors to be con- 
sidered are so numerous that they could not be fully delineated here. 
Neither could the various influences which the Chapel program has 
had on the subject, the student body, the alumni, and the College 
over the years be fully detailed. 

The Chapel program has changed both in form and in 
substance over the years since the founding of the college. It is ap- 
propriate, therefore, to make a_ formal assessment of the means by 
which it might be made as fully consistent as possible with the present 
needs of the students and of the college, and of the society in which 
Bowdoin graduates will live. 31 

The Recent Decades 159 

This was a broad assignment, and the committee worked diligently. 32 Its 
report was placed on file at the faculty meeting on February 5, 1964, and 
was debated and adopted on March ninth. 33 Henceforth there were to be 
two forums, secular in nature, each week, and one religious chapel. The 
specific days were to remain flexible to accommodate special visitors to the 
campus and to recognize special occasions. On Saturdays the normal break 
between classes would be omitted, along with forums and chapels, and the 
ten-thirty and eleven-thirty classes would be moved forward to ten and 
eleven o'clock. Previously seniors had been required to attend fifteen daily 
chapels a semester, juniors and sophomores twenty, and freshmen twenty- 
five. Now juniors, sophomores, and freshmen were to attend ten forums or 
chapels, or any combination totaling ten each semester; attendance of 
seniors was to be on a voluntary basis. A motion in faculty meeting to make 
all attendance voluntary was defeated. As to Sunday vespers, the commit- 
tee recommended that they should be continued as at present, attempts 
should be made to obtain distinguished speakers of various denominations, 
and all students should be required to attend four services each semester. 
By a vote of thirty-five to thirty-two the faculty voted to make attendance 
at Sunday service entirely voluntary. This vote was sent to the Boards, who 
refused to go along with it. 34 The Boards, however, did recognize the new 
forums when they amended by-law 65, which required attendance at daily 
prayers, to read: 

All undergraduates shall attend such exercises as may constitute the 
Chapel Program, under such regulations as the Dean of the College 
may formulate. 35 

The program of two forums and one chapel a week went into effect in 
September 1964. The opening college exercises in the First Parish Church 
were still announced in the college calendar as "Convocation and First 
Chapel Service," with the note that students were expected to attend. The 
following year the calendar simply referred to convocation, and there was 
no longer reference to a chapel service. Actually, there was no great 
change in the format of the exercises. It had become customary to read the 
parable of the sower, and this continued to be done. 36 

A regular committee of the faculty on the "Chapel and Forum Pro- 
gram" was now appointed, with the dean of students as chairman. 37 For a 
time they worked out a schedule of concerted programs on current topics 
of interest, but these soon ended. The Orient, in an editorial against com- 
pulsory chapel and forums in March 1966, charged: "With a few excep- 
tions, the forum program this year has been bad." 38 When the faculty 
committee made its annual report in April, it stated there would probably 
be increasing resistance to Sunday chapel as this was a widespread trend at 
colleges, but it recommended no changes. The faculty, however, passed a 

160 Religion at Bowdoin College: A History 

motion that the committee make further study regarding the efficacy of 
Sunday chapel. 39 The committee did so and made a report to the faculty 
on June 6, 1966, which aroused sharp debate. If the report were adopted, 
one member charged that the Chapel, with its spires, which had been 
meaningful symbols, would become a mere museum. Nevertheless the 
report was adopted. 40 Henceforth there were to be no Sunday vespers, end- 
ing a practice which was established in 1870. Funds which had normally 
been budgeted for Sunday vespers would henceforth be used by the com- 
mittee for a program of lectures, symposia, conferences, or discussions on 
appropriate religious and moral issues. Considering how students usually 
absented themselves from public lectures at the College, some faculty 
members viewed the probable success of this proposal with skepticism. 
There were to be forums twice a week, and attendance at ten of these was 
required for juniors, sophomores, freshmen, and seniors who had been 
delinquent in meeting their attendance requirements. Attendance at the 
chapel services on Wednesdays was to be completely voluntary, and atten- 
dance at chapel was not to count towards the ten attendances required at 
forums each semester. A motion to change this last provision, which would 
have given support for attendance at chapel by making it possible for 
chapel attenders to avoid going to the forums, was defeated. 

The changes adopted by the faculty obviously required some approval 
by the Boards, for they ended Sunday vespers. The Boards not only ap- 
proved but went even further. In a thorough revision of the by-laws 
adopted in June 1966, they eliminated any mention of chapel services and 
omitted the long-standing requirement that the first college exercises of 
the academic year "shall be morning prayers." The only reference to 
religious matters left in the by-laws was the statement: 

No test with respect to race, color, or creed shall be imposed in 
the choice of Trustees, Overseers, officers, members of the Faculty, 
any other employees, or in the admission of students; nor shall 
distinctly denominational tenets or doctrines be taught to the 
students. 41 

Once the Boards had abandoned the chapel program and all prayers, it 
did not take long for the faculty to follow suit. 

The new program was to be reviewed by the faculty committee in 
December 1966, and their report at that time was promptly disposed of by 
placing it on file. 42 The forums had not been going well, and the Orient 
denounced them as meaningless and serving no purpose. 43 When the com- 
mittee made its annual report in May 1967, it recommended that the 
forum program be abolished and that the Department of Music be invited 
to provide the College with a series of Sunday vesper services composed 
primarily of appropriate religious music. 44 It was hoped that interested 

The Recent Decades 161 

faculty members would assist by providing readings and prayers. Further- 
more, appropriate speakers on religious topics should be invited to the 
campus on the same basis as other lecturers. The president was also 
authorized to establish appropriate machinery to ensure the possibility of 
ad hoc forums at appropriate places and times, attendance at these occa- 
sions to be voluntary. With this report the Committee on Chapel Forums 
was discharged and the long-established college-sponsored program of 
chapel services ended. What had happened at Bowdoin was not unlike 
what was going on at colleges elsewhere. It was a period of unrest among 
students in protest against the United States's participation in the Vietnam 
War. It was also a time when curricular requirements were being, one by 
one, cancelled. Attendance at forums, the last bit of the old chapel re- 
quirements to go, vanished along with compulsory class attendance, re- 
quired gymnasium classes, foreign language study, science, literature, and 
social science prescriptions, and, not least of all, the comprehensive ex- 
aminations. Henceforth, more than ever before, students were to be free to 
chart their own educational program. 

In these years when chapel services were gradually being abandoned, 
there were a few changes made in the Chapel itself. In 1961 new front en- 
trance lights were installed through a gift of Mrs. Paul Tiemer of Cundy's 
Harbor in memory of Mr. William Stark Newell h'40. 45 In 1 969 the class of 
1929 paid for automation of the chimes so that they would function much 
like a player piano. Rolls with Bowdoin songs, Christmas carols, or what- 
not, can be inserted and the chimes played without the use of the old 
manuals. 46 But even with this ease of operation, or perhaps because of it, 
the ringing of a chime program in the late afternoon has ceased; and after- 
noons in the community are more drab without it. The chimes were also 
equipped to mark the hours of the day, sparing those of the night. With 
the subsequent disappearance of the "chapel hour" on Tuesdays and 
Thursdays and the inauguration of l^-hour as well as 1-hour classes, the 
ringing of the chapel bell, which for years had marked the beginning and 
end of classes, was ended. No longer is there at Bowdoin a student bell 
ringer who slips out of his classes early in order to liberate his classmates a 
few minutes later. 

Aside from the abandonment of the chapel program, there were other 
changes in these years in practices touching on religion. In the spring of 
1962 the Bowdoin Interfaith Forum decided to resume its old name of the 
Bowdoin Christian Association. 47 The B.I.F. had been unsuccessful in 
bringing into its activities a broader spectrum of the student body, and in 
justifying the change of names, the president of the B.C. A. stated "that 
many of us felt that in order to have a dynamic organization, one had to 
take his personal stand somewhere." 48 The old B.I.F. was a "conglomera- 
tion of nothingness." The B.C. A. would be open to all who wished to 

162 Religion at Bowdoin College: A History 

At this time the B.C. A., along with conducting a traditional annual 
Sunday service at the First Parish Church and the annual religious forum, 
was regularly conducting the chapel services on Thursday as one of its ac- 
tivities. Usually the students asked neighboring members of the clergy to 
speak, and a member of the B.C. A. presided. It was a welcome aid to the 
assistant to the president, Philip S. Wilder, who was in charge of getting 
chapel speakers and too often had to resort to a measure of arm twisting in 
persuading faculty members to speak in chapel. 

In February 1963 a Catholic student sharply criticized these B.C.A.- 
sponsored services. He called them sterile and religiously biased, and said 
that through the B.C. A. monopoly of the Thursday chapel hour the 
religious expression on campus had "become stiflingly sectarian." 49 The 
charge was unjustified and not difficult to refute. The B.C. A. president, in 
reply to the attack, pointed out that it was not the fault of the B.C. A. that 
there were no Catholic or Jewish organizations on campus. He urged that 
his critic attempt to get the Newman Club accepted as a campus organiza- 
tion. 50 He probably did not realize how contrary to established practice 
this was and what a departure it would be to permit college-sponsored 
denominational groups on campus. This, however, was what was to hap- 
pen and in the end to lead to the demise of the Christian Association, an 
organization which traced back directly to the founding of the Praying 
Society in 1815. 

A major step towards recognition of college-supported denomina- 
tional organizations on campus was taken on May 6, 1963, when the Stu- 
dent Council adopted a proposal made to them by two students that a 
Bowdoin Interfaith Council be formed. 51 The council was to conduct 
religious activities on campus and was to take the place of the B.C. A., 
which would now become a member organization of the council. The 
function of the council was to be administrative and serve "both con- 
tinuous and non-continuous religious organizations." What that meant ex- 
actly is not clear, but it probably covered well-established societies and also 
ad hoc groups that wanted to put on a special program. Since 1963-1964 
denominationally centered religious organizations have received ap- 
propriations from the activity fees paid by students. 52 

The formation of the Interfaith Council coincided with the ending of 
the Blanket Tax and the institution of student activities fees. 53 Half of the 
fifty-dollar activities fee paid by each student was now reserved to supple- 
ment the "operating appropriations made by the Governing Boards for 
Athletics, Masque and Gown, Debating, Glee Club, Music Club and 
White Key"; the other half was to go to "support such student activities as 
the Faculty may recommend." According to a vote by the faculty, all 
organizations receiving money from student activities fees are to be open to 
participation by all students. 54 The students were now granted more say in 
determining how much each activity was to receive, although the faculty 

The Recent Decades 163 

had to approve of these allotments. For a time the Interfaith Council 
received the entire appropriation for religious groups and parceled it out 
to its member organizations. 

In the spring of 1964 the Bowdoin Student Religious Liberals Club 
was formed, which was affiliated with the Continental Religious Liberals, 
and these in turn were tied to the Unitarian-Universalist Association. 55 It 
was active for a time and along with the B.C. A., the Episcopal Students 
Association, and the Newman Club was allotted money from the student 
activities fees. It was the Newman Club which soon was receiving by far the 
largest amount. This was largely the result of a project sponsored by the 
Newman Apostolate for conducting social service work at the Catholic Mis- 
sion station at the Indian reservations at Dana Point and later at Pleasant 
Point. In spring vacation of 1968, twelve students went to Dana Point, 
and, since many Bowdoin students were flying south to Bermuda at that 
time, their project of going to the Indian reservations became known as 
Bermuda North. At the reservation the students instructed the children in 
"weaving, woodworking, leathercraft, silk-screening, candlemaking" and 
other similar handicrafts. Tutoring in reading, mathematics, and other 
academic subjects soon came to play an important part in the program. It 
was the practice to work with the school children in the afternoons and in 
the evenings with adults and young people. The latter group received 
training mainly in the arts and music. By the fourth year the project ex- 
panded to nine weeks and in 1972 to twelve weeks. A historical article in 
the Orient in 1975 stated that some sixty students were involved in the pro- 
ject and that they would miss a total of 720 hours of classes, travel over 
10,000 miles, and use 650 gallons of gasoline. 56 

While the project was no doubt a worthy one, it seemed to some 
members of the faculty that to support it from student activities fees was 
using student funds to further an essentially Catholic mission project. In 
October 1971 the Student Activities Committee reported no allotment to 
the Interfaith Council but only one directly to the Newman Apostolate. A 
motion was made in a faculty meeting to delete the appropriation of 
$1,500 to the Newman Apostolate of which $1,200 was to go to Bermuda 
North. 57 Not only was the Newman Club supporting the work at the 
Catholic Indian missions and various activities on campus, but it also spon- 
sored a weekly folk mass, first held in the union on October 19, 1967. 58 
The masses were shifted to the Chapel from December 1973 to February 
1976, when they were again held in the union. It was felt by some members 
of the faculty that common student monies should not go to further 
denominational or sectarian interests. The motion was defeated forty-eight 
to twenty- three, striking evidence of the change which had taken place in 
college policy with respect to denominationalism since the Sills administra- 
tion. 59 Henceforth allotments were usually made directly, to various 
religious groups, but now and then the Interfaith Council is still granted 

164 Religion at Bowdoin College: A History 

funds. This is, however, of no significance, for the account numbers of the 
Interfaith Council and the Newman Apostolate are one and the same in 
the Business Office. Whether funds are technically appropriated to the 
Newman Apostolate or to the Interfaith Council, they go to the Newman 
association. 60 The Interfaith Council no longer performs its original func- 
tion of allotting funds to different religious organizations; in fact the Inter- 
faith Council no longer exists. 

The Jewish students at Bowdoin for many years never formed their 
own religion-oriented organization. It was unusual, perhaps, but some 
Jewish students did share in the B.C. A. activities, and the B.C. A. had one 
of its most successful years when it had an ecumenically minded Jewish stu- 
dent, Shepard Lee '47, as president. The College invited Jewish rabbis to 
speak in chapel and participate in the religious forums. Excused absences 
from classes were always willingly granted on Jewish holidays. Unless there 
were strenuous objections, in which case Jewish students could be excused, 
they were supposed to attend chapel. Most of them did not object to this 
college requirement, which existed when they enrolled. There is no 
synagogue in Brunswick, and consequently the Jewish students are in a dif- 
ferent position from most of the others in respect to attending religious ser- 
vices. In the early 1960s there was a student interested in organizing a 
ritual Sabbath evening meal and service. He was granted permission to use 
a room at the Moulton Union and to have wine at the meal. This decision 
set aside for this group the strict rule which prevailed at that time of no li- 
quor at any time in the union. When the student interested in leading the 
service left college, these Jewish services soon ended. 

The report of the Student Activities Fees Committee in 1970-1971 in- 
dicates that the Interfaith Council at that time was allotting funds to a 
Bowdoin Jewish Association 61 along with the Newman Apostolate and Stu- 
dent Religious Liberals. Since 1973 the Jewish Association has regularly 
received an appropriation from the student activities fees separate from 
any sum which may have been voted to the Interfaith Council. It has never 
sought ties with the Hillel Foundation, an international Jewish college 
organization. The activity of the Jewish Association varies greatly from 
year to year. At times it sponsors lectures and discussions, invites a 
neighboring rabbi to meet with students, makes it possible for groups to at- 
tend services at synagogues in Portland or Lewiston, and arranges for the 
observance of the high holidays on campus. While the meetings of the 
Jewish Association are open to all students, it nevertheless is, as the name 
implies, a religious denominational group. 

Along with the change of policy towards supporting denominational 
organizations with student activities fees, another quite different policy 
was inaugurated. Ever since a full-time member of the faculty was ap- 
pointed to teach religion in 1939, the Department of Religion has grown. 
This growth accelerated in the late 1950s. When Professor William D. 

The Recent Decades 165 

Geoghegan went on sabbatical leave in 1964-1965, Dr. Jerry W. Brown was 
brought in to take over the religion courses, and stayed on. With two men 
in the department, one of the basic requirements for offering a major in 
religion was met. On April 18, 1966, the faculty approved offering a major 
program in religion, contingent upon the arrival of an additional instruc- 
tor. 62 Dr. Brown was on temporary appointment, and apparently the 
Educational Policy Committee wanted to be sure there would be a two- 
man department to handle the majors. This reservation was met when Dr. 
Brown was retained and was appointed dean of students. The College now 
had three deans, a proliferation of deanships which aroused some merri- 
ment on campus. The offering in religion was augmented in April 1965 
when the faculty approved three new courses: Problems in the Develop- 
ment of Religion in America, Biblical Theology, and Old Testament Pro- 
phetic Literature. 63 Since then the Department of Religion has expanded 
into a three-man department offering some eighteen different courses plus 
a program of independent study and honors work. 64 Opportunity is pro- 
vided not only for the study of various aspects of Christianity, but also of 
different world religions. 

The College had changed in many ways from the time President Coles 
assumed office in 1952 to December 1967, when he resigned while on sab- 
batical leave. The changes in the vesper and chapel programs, which had 
taken place in spite of his real efforts to prevent them, have been men- 
tioned; there can be no attempt here to evaluate the many other programs 
he successfully inaugurated and furthered. Professor Athern P. Daggett 
'25, who was serving as acting president, continued to do so until January 
1969, when Roger Howell, Jr., a graduate of the College in 1958, became 
president. He had been a Rhodes Scholar and completed his work for a 
doctorate at St. John's College. He returned to the College in 1964 to teach 
history, and in February 1968 had been appointed acting dean of the Col- 
lege. He was the third successive Episcopalian to be appointed president. 
Contrary to the practices of his nine predecessors he said nothing directly 
about religion in his inaugural address on "A New Humanism." The long 
historic progress towards secularization of the College was to continue dur- 
ing his administration. By the time he was elected president the page in the 
college catalogue which had carried the quotation of the charter on 
teaching virtue and piety, Hyde's "Offer of the College," and President 
Coles's reference to Bowdoin as a Christian college had been dropped. 65 

When the forum- chapel program was ended in May 1967, the faculty 
committee had proposed that the Department of Music be invited to pro- 
vide the College with a series of Sunday vesper services composed primarily 
of appropriate religious music. Acting President Daggett did this, and the 
Department of Music agreed to arrange fifteen such services for the follow- 
ing year. 66 On the initiative of Gary R. Roberts '68, a self-constijtuted com- 
mittee on weekday chapel was formed, and Roberts was recognized as 

166 Religion at Bowdoin College: A History 

moderator. 67 Under his leadership two to three chapels and forums were 
scheduled weekly through the greater part of the academic year 
1967-1968. On November 13, 1967, a Prayer for Peace in Vietnam was 
held, modeled on the liturgy of the Confessing Church of Germany at the 
time of the Sudeten Crisis in 1938. In February 1968 appropriate forums 
were held in recognition of Negro History Week. There were also several 
memorial services for alumni killed in Vietnam, arranged by the acting 
president. Attendance on the whole was small and irregular. Some 
members of the student committee were still on hand after Roberts's 
graduation, and largely through the efforts of Bernard C. Ruffin III '69, 
the program of a limited number of weekday chapels and forums was con- 
tinued in the following year. The students made an honest effort to keep 
the program going, but the last chapel in this two-year effort was held on 
April 22, 1969. Both years the student committee, with the help of Pro- 
fessor John E. Sheats of the Department of Chemistry, carried on a weekly 
evening hour of Bible study, which touched a very small number of 
students. 68 Such study groups had long been sponsored by the B.C. A., but 
by this time that organization had ceased to exist. 69 

The chapel choir, although it did not sing at the weekday meetings, 
continued briefly to exist as a separate musical organization. It made a 
successful tour to France during the spring vacation of 1969 under the 
direction of Rodney J. Rothlisberger, but it was disbanded later that 
year. 70 At Christmas 1968 the custom that was followed for some years of 
having the annual carol service in the Walker Art Building was in- 
augurated. A combination of Bible readings and carols, with the setting of 
candlelight and biblical paintings in the festively decorated rotunda of the 
gallery, made it a very effective and memorable service. Except for an oc- 
casional concert, the musical vespers which the faculty committee had pro- 
posed in 1967 came to an end in the spring semester of 1969. On March 15, 

1970, the "Episcopal Undergraduate Committee" undertook to sponsor 
regular Sunday vesper services. Their last vesper service was on February 7, 

1971, and was followed by four services of Holy Communion held at the 
traditional vesper hour of five o'clock. 71 With these, the Episcopal effort to 
bring vespers back to Bowdoin ended. 

During the following years there were repeated attempts to revive 
weekday chapel services. In 1972-1973, largely due to the efforts of 
Richard D. Barr '70, who was serving as student intern minister at the First 
Parish Church, a student chapel- forum committee initiated two chapel 
services a week throughout the year. 72 The next year, under Barr's suc- 
cessor at First Parish, Ronald Staley, the chapel program was continued. It 
was a matter of the faithful few maintaining the services. In the fall of 1 974 
the Bowdoin Christian Fellowship, a rather small ecumenically oriented 
group of students, organized a series of meetings in Terrace Under of the 
Moulton Union for Bible study, study of Christian teaching, and music. A 

The Recent Decades 167 

few chapel- forum meetings were held at the regular chapel hour, but no 
sustained program was carried through. The Bowdoin Chapel Committee, 
under the leadership of Jeffrey Wilson '76, continued to exist and in March 
1976, sponsored a special Lenten vesper service where Rev. Kristen Sten- 
dahl, dean of the Harvard Divinity School, spoke. Later that year an 
Easter service was held, but no regular vespers were scheduled. Again, in 
April 1978, some midweek ecumenical prayer services were begun during 
the chapel hour, but they soon ended. These attempts to bring back a 
limited number of weekday chapels never enjoyed widespread support 
among students, faculty, or administration. Those people in the past who 
maintained that without a limited compulsory attendance requirement it 
would be impossible to maintain a chapel or vesper program at Bowdoin 
were apparently right. Yet they still may be shown to be wrong, for there 
always apparently are some students who want to give it a try. In the spring 
semester of 1980 a small number of students made a serious effort to con- 
duct a program of "Ecumenical Vesper Services." They recruited faculty 
and student speakers and worked hard on publicity. Attendance hovered 
around the seventy-five mark. 

The disappearance of a regular daily chapel- forum program brought 
an end to other observances at the College. Formerly there had been ser- 
vices on Armistice Day, when for years President Sills read the list of men 
who had been killed in World War II; on United Nations Day, when Pro- 
fessor Daggett always spoke on the work of that organization; and on St. 
Patrick's Day, when Dr. Daniel Hanley customarily presided, wearing a 
green tie, and there were appropriate tenor solos of Irish favorites. There 
were also observances of the festivals of the church year. The chapel or 
forum hour, call it what you will, also provided an opportunity for the 
presentation of student awards, which added some distinction and acclaim 
to the recipients. The chapel gatherings regularly gave an opportunity for 
memorial services on the deaths of faculty members, students, and other 
Bowdoin notables. While there are still a few memorial services, they are 
no longer held as a matter of course, ending a long tradition at Bowdoin. 
"Seniors' Last Chapel" was last held on May 21, 1964. Baccalaureate ser- 
vices continue, although they are no longer held in the First Parish Church 
but in the college Chapel, and the graduating class does not attend in 
gowns or enter as a group. The services are no longer an integral part of 
commencement but are held about a month earlier. 

When President Howell resigned in June 1978, what so many in the 
pre-Civil War period feared might happen, did happen. Willard F. 
Enteman, a Unitarian, was elected president of the College. In his in- 
augural address he made "an open, honest, and blunt defense of liberal 
arts education" but made no specific reference to religion. 73 In line with 
the climate of opinion of the present day, but in contrast to the days when 
the College was established, religion as training in virtue and piety was no 

168 Religion at Bowdoin College: A History 

longer considered of vital significance in the educational process. By this 
time religious matters at the College had been relegated to the Department 
of Religion, as well as to other courses to which it was relevant and to what 
initiative the students might take in making it a part of extracurricular af- 
fairs. The Newman association with its weekly folk mass, under the profes- 
sional leadership supplied by the Roman Catholic church, is the most ac- 
tive religious organization on the campus. The project Bermuda North, 
having been terminated in 1976, has been replaced by Project BABE. 74 In 
this program Bowdoin students assist the staff at Bancroft School in Owl's 
Head, Maine, working with children with learning disabilities. While the 
Newman Association sponsors the project, participation in it is open to all 
qualified students. Currently Jewish and Christian Science Associations 
also are present on campus; tomorrow there may well be others. There no 
longer is a non-denominational, religiously oriented organization in the 
tradition of the historic college-sponsored and -supported Y.M.C.A. or 
B.C. A., although the ecumenical Bowdoin Christian Fellowship still exists. 
There are students who participate in the activities of the various churches 
in the community, and the students still conduct an annual service at First 
Parish. The College has given up sponsoring religious services, although 
there are still invocations and benedictions at convocations and at com- 
mencement exercises. Grace is still customarily said at Alumni Day and 
Commencement Day dinners. 

On the resignation of President Enteman effective January 1, 1981, 
the Boards appointed former Dean Arthur LeRoy Greason, a member of 
First Parish, acting president. He was elected president on July 24 and for- 
mally inaugurated in October 1981. 

Although the status of religion at Bowdoin has changed over the 
years, practices once abandoned may be restored or new ones instituted. 
Since its founding the College has gradually shifted to the acceptance of 
the pronouncement of the German Socialists at the Erfurt Congress of 1891 
that "Religion is a Private Matter," one which is not the concern of the 
College as a corporate entity. If there are those who regret these changes, 
they may find solace in President Appleton's dying statement, resplendent 
in faith and conviction: "God has taken care of the college and God will 
take care of it." 75 


Chapter I 

1. Olmstead, Religion in the U.S., pp. 218-21; Brauer, Protestantism in 

America, pp. 92-93; Atkins and Fagley, American Congregationalism, p. 
136; Smyth, Three Discourses, p. 5. 

2. Joseph Williamson, "Conditions of the Religious Denominations of Maine at 

the Close of the Revolution," Collections of the Maine Historical Society, 7 
(1876): 217-29. 

3. This act was printed in the Cumberland Gazette, February 7, 1788; a copy is 

inSp. Col., Bowdoin College Records, 1788-1794. 

4. Isaac Weston, "History of the Association of Ministers of Cumberland Coun- 

ty, Maine from 1788 to 1867," Congregational Quarterly, 9 (1867): 336, 

5. Recordsof the Association of Ministers as quoted, ibid., p. 343. 

6. Sp. Col., Bowdoin College Records, 1788-1794; Alfred Johnson to Alpheus C. 

Packard, January 19, 1835, Sp. Col., Documentary History, I, misc. dates, 
1806-1902, p. 1, loose papers. 

7. Photostats of the petitions, Sp. Col., Bowdoin College Records, 1788-1794. 

8. Little, Historical Sketch, pp. x-xiii. 

9. Johnson to Packard, January 19, 1835, Sp. Col., Documentary History, I, 

misc. dates, 1806-1902, p. 1, loose papers. 

10. James Bowdoin to the Overseers and Corporation of Bowdoin College, June 

27, 1794, Sp. Col., Bowdoin College Records, 1788-1794. The gift was for- 
mally accepted and the letter answered on December 27,1 794. 

1 1 . The charter has often been reprinted, usually in connection with printing the 

by-laws. It has been amended twice. "In 1891, limitations on the amount of 
property which could be taken and held by the College and on the amount of 
income which could be received were eliminated. In 1973, changes were 
made (1) to enable the Trustees and the Overseers to establish terms of office 
for their members in lieu of life tenure and (2) to permit officers of the Col- 
lege other than the Treasurer to execute deeds." The Charter of Bowdoin 
College (Effective January 25, 1974), foreword by Wolcott Anders Hokan- 

12. Little, Historical Sketch, p. xvi. 

13. See the early college charters and other pertinent documents collected in 

Cohen, Education in the U.S., 2:641-713. 

14. Hatch, History of Bowdoin, p. 5. 

15. Sills, Joseph McKeen, p. 8. 

16. Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th ed., s.v. "Edwards, Jonathan (1763-1758)." 

1 70 Notes to pages 6-14 

17. John Locke, "Some Thoughts Concerning Education" in Axtell, The Educa- 

tional Writings of John Locke, pp. 240-42, being paragraphs 134-36 of 
Locke's essay. Locke goes on to write in paragraph 139: "Having laid the 
Foundations of Vertue in a true Notion of a God, such as the Creed wisely 
teaches, as far as his Age is capable, and by accustoming him to pray to 
him...." (p. 244). 

18. Morison, Founding of Harvard College, pp. 250-51. 

Chapter II 

1. Little, Historical Sketch, pp. xvi-xviii; Hatch, History ofBowdoin, pp. 8-10. 

2. Woods, An Address Delivered on the Opening of the New Hall of the Medical 

School, pp. 7-8. 

3. Cleaveland and Packard, History of Bowdoin, pp. 7-8; Hatch, History of 

Bowdoin, pp. 10-14. 

4. For biographical material on President McKeen see Cleaveland and Packard, 

History ofBowdoin, pp. 1 11-13; Jenks, Eulogy; SiWs, Joseph McKeen. 

5. Hatch, History of Bowdoin, p. 13. 

6. Ibid.; the Trustees voted on May 19, 1802, to give McKeen 1,000 acres 

of average quality in Township 6 (Trustee Records, 1794-1853, p. 34). 

7. Cleaveland and Packard, History ofBowdoin, p. 112. The Reverend William 

Jenks, in his eulogy at the funeral of President McKeen, stated, "that his 
peculiar excellency seemed to be a sound discriminating Judgment" (Jenks, 
Eulogy, p. 34). 

8. Cleaveland and Packard, History ofBowdoin, p. 113. 

9. Packard, Our Alma Mater, p. 39. 

10. Trustee Records, 1794-1853, pp. 37-38. 

11. Inaugural Address Delivered by the Rev. Joseph McKeen, pp. 7-8. 

12. Ibid., pp.4, 6. 

13. Ibid., pp. 6-7. 

14. Ibid., p. 8. 

15. Ibid., p. 13. 

16. Trustee Records, 1794-1853, May 20, 1801, p. 31; May 20, 1802, p. 35. 

17. For laws at Harvard and Yale see Cohen, Education in the U.S., 2:657-60, 

675-79; Morison, Founding of Harvard College, pp. 333-39, 433-34. 

18. Jenks, Eulogy, p. 29. 

19. Trustee Records, 1794-1853, Sept. 1,2, 1802, pp. 37-38; Nov. 3, 1802, p. 42. 

20. Ibid., May 17, 1808, p. 63; Sept. 6, 1808, p. 64; Sept. 1, 1812, pp. 81-82. 

21. Ibid., May 19, 1813, p. 85. 

22. Ibid., May 19, 1813, p. 85; June 6, 1814, p. 91; Sept. 6, 1814, p. 93; May 16, 

1815, p. 98. 

23. There were printed editions of the Laws of Bowdoin College published in 

1817, 1824, 1825, 1832, 1837, 1844, and 1855; amendments in 1858, 1863, 
1868, and 1873 with a new section pp. 20-22 entitled "Regulations 
Regulating the New Merit System" in 1 875 ; Regulations of Bowdoin College, 
in 1883, 1884, 1887, 1890, 1895, 1898, and 1905; from then on various edi- 
tions of the charter and by-laws of Bowdoin College, some printed, others 
mimeographed . 

24. Jenks, Eulogy, p. 29. Whether Jenks is quoting directly from the laws is not 

clear. Anyway, his list of requirements contrasts with the more detailed state- 
ment in the 1817 College Laws, Chapter I: "No person shall be admitted a 
member of the College, unless, upon examination by the President, or, 
under his direction, by some other Instructor, he shall be found acquainted 

Notes to pages 15-23 1 71 

with the fundamental rules of Arithmetic, be able to read, construe, and 
parse Cicero's select orations, the Bucolics, Georgics, and Aeneid of Virgil, 
the Greek Testament, and the Collectanea Graeca Minora of Dalzel, and to 
write Latin grammatically; and shall also produce satisfactory credentials of 
his good moral character." Submission of letters attesting to good moral 
character continued to be a requirement for admission until 1943, when the 
wording was changed to: "Satisfactory testimonials of sound character and 
personality must be presented by all candidates — " (Bowdoin College 
Catalogue, 1943-1944, p. 35). 

25. "Of the exact course of study pursued ... no definite statement seems to be ex- 

tant" (Little, Historical Sketch, p. xxxii; statement repeated in Hatch, 
History of Bowdoin, p. 23). 

26. Laws of Bowdoin College, 1817, p. 7. 

27. Hatch, History of Bowdoin, p. 24. 

28. Woods, An Address Delivered on the Opening of the New Hall of the Medical 

School, pp. 11-13. 

29. John McKeen's account of the Thorndike Oak as reprinted ibid., pp. 11-12. 
Mr. McKeen was an eyewitness of the planting of the acorn. 

30. Laws of Bowdoin College, 1817, p. 8. 

31. Ibid., pp. 4-5. 

Chapter III 

1. Ashby, First Parish Church, pp. 22, 36. 

2. Ibid., pp. 26-33. 

3. Ibid., pp. 46-47. 

4. Ibid., pp. 66,71. 

5. Ibid., p. 73. 

6. Ibid., pp. 78-79; Wheeler, History of Brunswick, Topsham, and Harpswell, 

pp. 377-380. 

7. As quoted in Ashby, First Parish Church, p. 79. 

8. Ibid., p. 101. 

9. Trustee Records, 1794-1853, p. 49; Sp. Col., Votes of the Boards, May 1805, 

in Bowdoin College Board Votes, 1794-1815. 

10. Sp. Col., Samuel Melcher's Ledger, 1803, p. 35. 

11. On Sept. 4, 1833, the Trustees voted to put up a stove in the Chapel at an ex- 

pense not exceeding forty dollars. The Overseers, however, refused to concur 
(Trustee Records, 1794-1853, p. 232). For churches and chapels to be 
unheated was not uncommon at this time, and the second meeting house 
erected by the First Parish had no heating at first. 

12. Article byj. A. Peters on the old chapel in Orient, March 5, 1884, pp. 212-14. 

The seniors were privileged to leave the chapel first, the freshmen were to 
leave last. 

13. Trustee Records, 1794-1853, p. 51. 

14. Sp. Col., Bowdoin College Board Votes, 1794-1815. The votes of the Trustees 

were not acted upon by the Overseers until December 18, 1805. 

15. Ibid. 

16. Sp. Col., Samuel Melcher's Day Book, 1803, no page numbers. 

17. Sp. Col., Samuel Melcher's Ledger, 1803, pp. 35-36. Hatch is clearly wrong 

when he writes: "He [Melcher] appears to have been also a good business 
man, for his papers recently examined by his grandson show that his contract 
price was twelve hundred dollars and the actual cost of the chapel eight hun- 
dred" (History of Bowdoin, p. 414). 

1 72 Notes to pages 23-28 

18. Trustee Records, 1794-1853, Sept. 2, 1817, p. 108; May 19, 1818, p. 109; 

J. A. Peters in Orient, March 5, 1884; Hatch, History of Bowdoin, p. 415. 
There is a picture in the Cram Alumni House at Bowdoin of the College in 
1821 , which shows both Massachusetts Hall and the chapel with belfries. 

19. Not only was the old meeting house inconveniently located, but it was sadly in 

need of repair. After the erection of the second meeting house, Town 
Meetings continued to be held in it for some time. It gradually fell into rack 
and ruin, all the windows were broken, and there were great holes in the 
floor. It burned down on Sunday evening, October 26, 1834, and it was 
generally held that it had been set on fire by the students (Ashby, First Parish 
Church, pp. 87-89, 160-62; Hamlin, My Life and Times, p. 143). 

20. Trustee Records, 1794-1853, Sept. 3, 1805, p. 50. 

21. Ibid., p. 110. The Visiting Committee in its 1827 report listed eight shares in 

the meeting house as unproductive property but states it was "valuable for 
purpose of Commencement." The reports of the Visiting Committee in 1829 
and 1 830 list the eight shares in the meeting house and assign them a value of 
$808 (Visiting Committee, 1826-33, pp. 37, 81, 102). 

22. Ashby, First Parish Church, p. 91. 

23. Trustee Records, 1794-1853, Oct. 23, 1805, p. 52. The vote was not concur- 

red in by the Overseers until December 18, 1805. 

24. General Catalogue of Bowdoin College, 1 794-1950, p. 45. 

25. For the agreement, see Ashby, First Parish Church, pp. 96-97. 

26. Ibid., p. 96. 

27. In 1845 Rev. George E. Adams, in writing about the necessity of erecting a 

new meeting house, states: "After having a cart-load of boards and joists 
brought into our House every year for forty years for a Commencement 
stage, we are weary of the system " (ibid., p. 188). 

28. Ibid., p. 97. 

29. Folder, "Deeds and Plans II" in Bowdoin College Business Office files; 

registered in Office of Brunswick Town Clerk, vol. 3, p. 64. 

30. Trustee Records, 1794-1853, pp. 110, 115. 

31. Cumberland County Registry of Deeds, book 117, p. 390; also in Folder, 

"Deeds and Plans II" in Bowdoin College Business Office files; see Ashby, 
First Parish Church, pp. 268-271; Barrett Potter, Report to the Treasurer 
Describing Land of the College. The Boards accepted the indenture on 
September 4, 1821 (Trustee Records, 1794-1853, p. 132). 

32. That is the $800 paid for the eight shares subscribed to the venture of erecting 

the meeting house. 

33. Wheeler, History of Brunswick, Topsham, and Harpswell, pp. 145, 371; 

Ashby, First Parish Church, p. 146. 

34. The belfry on Massachusetts Hall was probably removed in the fall of 1 830. At 

least the Visiting Committee in the summer of 1830 stated: "Last Visiting 
Committee reported cupola should be removed from Massachusetts Hall and 
roof reshingled. This should be done without delay" (Visiting Committee, 
1826-1833, Reportof 1830, p. 93). 

35. Visiting Committee, 1840-1844, letter appended to the Report of 1844. 

36. Ibid.; the vote as given in Ashby, First Parish Church, p. 147, has a few minor 

textual variations. 

37. Ashby, First Parish Church, p. 147. 

38. Trustee Records, 1794-1853, Aug. 31, 1830, p. 128. 

39. Sp. Col., Records of Executive Government, 1831-1875, p. 77. 

40. Trustee Records, 1794-1853, Sept. 2, 1835, p. 245. 

Notes to pages 28-33 173 

41. The College held that it owned the north gallery and was not obligated to pay 

on it, a position disputed by the First Parish (Ashby, First Parish Church, pp. 

42. Ibid., p. 147. 

43. Trustee Records, 1794-1853, Oct. 27, 1843, p. 319. 

44. The commodious vestry on School Street, formerly known as the Second Bap- 

tist Meeting House, was sold to the Congregational church (not the parish) in 
1841 for $500. In 1891 it was sold for $1,000 to the Pejepscot Historical 
Society, which still owns the building (Ashby, First Parish Church, pp. 174, 
364; John Furbish, "Notes Read at the Dedication of the Historical Society 
Building" in Louise R. Helmreich, ed., Our Town, pp. 5-16). 

45. See the letter from Rev. George E. Adams to the Boston Recorder in Ashby, 

First Parish Church, p. 188. 

46. Sp. Col., Diary of Charles P. Roberts, Class of 1845, April 18, 1845. The dove 

subsequently found its way to the Pejepscot Historical Society. 

47. Ashby, First Parish Church, p. 210. 

48. Commencements are now held either on the steps of the Walker Art Building 

or in the Morrell Gymnasium. 

49. Trustee Records, 1794-1853, pp. 342, 344-45. 

50. Ashby, First Parish Church, pp. 212-13. 

51. Ibid., p. 213. Gas lighting was introduced in the meeting house in 1871 (ibid., 

p. 328). 

52. Ibid., p. 205. 

53. Ibid., pp. 103-09. 

54. Trustee Records, 1794-1853, Sept. 6, 1814, p. 94. 

55. Ashby, First Parish Church, p. 132. 

56. Ibid. President Allen was apparently not fond of preaching without compen- 

sation. In August 1 822 he submitted a bill to the College for preaching to the 
students during the present term, six times at five dollars — $30.00. The 
Trustees agreed to pay, but the Overseers did not concur (Trustee Records, 
1794-1853, Aug. 20, 1822, p. 132). 

57. Ashby, First Parish Church, p. 132; Sp. Col., Records of Executive Govern- 

ment, 1821-1831, Sept. 7, 1821, p. 19. 

58. Sp. Col., Recordsof Executive Government, 1821-1831, p. 64. 

59. Trustee Records, 1794-1853, pp. 136, 151, 160, 165. Votes of the faculty to 

pay Rev. Keep and then Rev. Mead $200 for instructing the seniors in moral 
philosophy four hours a week are to be found in Sp. Col., Records of Ex- 
ecutive Government, 1821-1831, pp. 19, 64. 

60. Trustee Records, 1794-1853, Sept. 5-6, 1826, p. 171. Perhaps the vote was 

not sent down to the Overseers in order to spare Rev. Mead embarrassment. 
He was a member of the Board of Overseers from 1826 to 1831. 

61. Sp. Col., Bowdoin College Records, 1823-1826. The letter was signed by 

Jacob Abbot, Charles Packard, Classof 1817, and Noah Hinckley. 

62. Mary Ann Kendrick, "Some Vague Reminiscences of Olden Times in 

Brunswick, Commencing in the Early Twenties," in Louise R. Helmreich, 
ed., Our Town, pp. 24-25; Ashby, First Parish Church-, pp. 137-38. 

63. Sp. Col., Recordsof Executive Government, 1821-1831, p. 74. 

64. Rev. Adams was a member of the Board of Overseers from 1830 to 1872; vice 

president of the Board from 1865 to 1871. He was awarded a D.D. in 1849. 

65. Writing about Bowdoin in 1825, Hatch states: "All the Faculty were orthodox 

Congregationalists, although for a time Professor Newman was believed to 
lean towards the Unitarians" (History of Bowdoin, p. 73). Professor Henry 

174 Notes to pages 33-41 

W. Longfellow, Class of 1825, was on the list of First Parish members, but 
when the Unitarian Society was formed in Brunswick he identified himself 
with it (Ashby, First Parish Church, p. 349). 
66. Burnett, Hyde, p. 199. 

Chapter IV 

1. In the General Catalogue of Bowdoin College, 1794-1894, pp. 3-14, the 

names of all the Trustees and Overseers are listed with their terms of service. 
The ministers are all designated by Rev. and the others generally receive the 
title Hon. 

2. Memorial Catalogue of Bowdoin College, 1794-1894, pp. 44-45. 

3. Trustee Records, 1794-1853, p. 59. 

4. In September 1827 the Boards voted: "That Professor Upham be authorized 

to instruct such students as may desire it in the Hebrew language" (Trustee 
Records, 1794-1853, p. 176); Bowdoin College Catalogue, 1828, p. 15; Lit- 
tle, Historical Sketch, p. xlviii. 

5. Olmstead, Religion in the U.S., p. 285. 

6. These figures are based on data in General Catalogue of Bowdoin College, 

1794-1950; they no doubt are reasonably complete although the professions 
of some graduates are not given. In addition, of the Bowdoin graduates from 
1806 to 1831 , fourteen went on to study at Andover and a scattering at other 
theological seminaries without ever being ordained. Until the early 1830s 
Bangor Seminary was attended largely by graduates of three-year classical 
academies, and it was only then that it began to enlist college graduates 
(Hamlin, My Life and Times, p. 143); Smyth, Three Discourses, p. 80. 

7. Sp. Col., Scrap Book Hyde, vol. 1 , p. 8. 

8. Faculty Records, 1876-1884, p. 172. 

9. Paley, A View of the Evidences of Christianity. 

10. Paley, Natural Theology, 1855 ed., p. 4 of the preface. 

11. Visiting Committee, 1845-1850, Report of 1847, p. 20. 

12. See below, pp. 90-93. 

13. Little, Historical Sketch, p. xiii. 

14. Addresses of Rev. Jesse Appleton, pp. 11-12. 

15. Visiting Committee, 1834-1839, Report of 1836. 

16. Visiting Committee, 1845-1850, Report of 1850. 

17. Addresses of Rev. Jesse Appleton, p. 7. 

18. Laws of Bowdoin College, 1817, p. 28. This provision was incorporated 

directly in the 1824 edition of the laws, p. 6, law 4. In Special Collections 
there are various editions of the laws issued to students. 

19. Burnett, Hyde, p. 159. 

20. Laws of Bowdoin College, 1817, chap. 3, pp. 6-8. 

21. Ibid., chap. 4, pp. 10-15. 

22. This particular law was adopted September 6, 1814 (Trustee Records, 

1794-1853, p. 92). 

23. Laws of Bowdoin College, 1824, p. 7. 

24. Ibid., 1817, chap. 4, p. 12. 

25. Ibid., p. 15. 

26. Ibid. 

27. Trustee Records, 1794-1853, Aug. 31, 1841, p. 294; Laws of Bowdoin Col- 

lege, 1844, law 5. 

28. Laws of Bowdoin College, 1824, p. 19. 

Notes to pages 41-44 115 

29. Trustee Records, 1794-1853, Aug. 31, 1847, p. 350. 

30. Sp. Col., Records of Executive Government, 1821-1831, p. 56. 

31. Laws of Bowdoin College, 1825, p. 18. 

32. Trustee Records, 1794-1853, Aug. 31, 1830, pp. 197-98. The prohibition of 

smoking is omitted in Laws of Bowdoin College, 1832, law 34, pp. 18-19. 
Professor Smyth, in his lectures on the religious history of Bowdoin, pleads 
for action against the use of tobacco (Three Discourses, p. 74). 

33. Item from the Lewiston Journal in Sp. Col., Documentary History, 

1884-1888, p. 112. 

34. Sp. Col., Records of Executive Government, 1805-1820, Jan. 4, 1808, pp. 


35. Laws of Bowdoin College, 1825, pp. 17-18. 

36. Sp. Col., Records of Executive Government, 1805-1820, p. 34. 

37. Ibid. 

38. Ibid., p. 63. 

39. Ibid., pp. 92,94. 

40. Ibid., p. 95. 

41. Ibid., p. 99. 

42. Ibid., p. 103. 

43. Ibid., pp. 106, 114, 124. 

44. Ibid., pp. 98, 112, 114, 121, 123, 124, 129, 130, 140. 

45. Ibid., 1825-1848, pp. 27, 47. The First Baptist Church in Brunswick was 

organized in 1803. The Universalists were organized in 1812 and their first 
church building erected in 1829. The Unitarian Society was formed in 
January 1830, but they never had a settled minister, and an agreement was 
subsequently reached that they would maintain preaching in Topsham; the 
Universalists would do the same in Brunswick. Methodist activity in the com- 
munity began in 1821, and in 1835 there were seven college students among 
the forty members of the society. The Methodist Episcopal Society was for- 
mally organized the following year, and they acquired a church property on 
Federal Street. Asabel Moore, Class of 1835, who was licensed to preach 
before he entered Bowdoin, preached at times and later served the 
Methodists as pastor in 1842-1843. The Methodist church on Pleasant Street 
was erected in 1866. The first Episcopal service in Brunswick was held in the 
college chapel in 1842; the parish was organized in 1842 and St. Paul's 
Church on Pleasant Street erected in 1845. Professor D.R. Goodwin was one 
of the leading organizers of the parish. Although there were visits by a 
Roman Catholic priest from Bath starting about 1860, the first Catholic 
church in Brunswick dates from 1866 (Wheeler, History of Brunswick, Top- 
sham, and Harpswell, pp. 381, 392-405; Everett Nason et al., History of the 
United Methodist Church in Brunswick, 1821-1973, pp. 9-10; Herring, 
Berean Baptist Church, pp. 5-14; Lincoln, St. Paul's Episcopal Church, pp. 
8-12; Souvenir of St. John the Baptist Parish, brief historical accounts in 
French and English. 

46. Sp. Col., Diary of Charles P. Roberts, Oct. 16, 1842. 

47. Ibid., Dec. 28, 1843. Roberts also notes errors in the faculty records, all to his 

advantage, in his entry on May 25, 1845. The faculty were well aware that 
the monitors were not exact in their reports (Sp. Col., Records of Executive 
Government, 1848-1868 misc., pp. 77, 95, 100. 

48. Sp. Col., Diary of Charles P. Roberts, March 21, 1848. 

49. Ibid., Oct. 22, 1841. 

50. Ibid., Oct. 30, 31, 1841. In October 1873 the Bible was "stolen" from the 

chapel and not returned for over a month (Orient, Oct. 29, 1873, p. 114; 
Dec. 3, 1873, p. 141). 

1 76 Notes to pages 44-50 

51. Sp. Col., Records of Executive Government, 1821-1831, April 5, 1827, p. 

155. The letters of the parents to President Allen in which they agreed to pay 
their share of the cost are to be found in Sp. Col., College Records, 
1827-1829, Folder, Loss of Chapel Bell. Both students who were caught were 
firm in refusing to implicate others that were involved in the "frolic." 

52. Article byj. A. Peters in the Orient, March 5, 1884, pp. 212-14. 

53. Sp. Col., Diary of Charles P. Roberts, March 20, 1842. 

54. Ibid., Oct. 9, 18, 1844. Although there is mention of many misdemeanors in 

the Records of the Executive Government, there is no mention of these 

55. Ibid. July 28, 1842; Foster, DownEast Diary, July 24, 1852, p. 345. 

56. Sp. Col., Records of Executive Government, 1849-1868, misc., Oct. 10, 1854, 

pp. 63-64. On October 27, 1860, four members of the sophomore class were 
detected attempting to dislodge the chapel bell. They were immediately sent 
home (ibid., p. 120). 

57. Ibid., Oct. 19, 1863, p. 126. 

58. Minot and Snow, Tales ofBowdoin, p. 229. This tale is confirmed in a slightly 

different version by an article on the chapel bell in the Orient which stated 
that about 1862 the bell had been filled with coal ashes and water and left to 
the severity of a winter night (Orient, March 13, 1889, p. 212). "On cold 
winter mornings the clapper of the Chapel bell was so often missing that the 
college had learned to keep on hand a supply of tongues so that voice could 
be summarily restored to the bell" (Tales ofBowdoin, p. 229). 

59. Orient, Nov. 27, 1878, p. 102. 

60. Sp. Col., Diary of Charles P. Roberts, Oct. 12, 18, 1844. 

61. Visiting Committee, 1845-1850, Report of 1845, p. 4. 

62. Ibid., Report of 1847, p. 26. The lowest cost for destruction of property 

charged to students in a year was $141.22 in 1831, the highest $505.58 in 
1845, the average for the years 1831 to 1847, $304.57. 

63. Foster, Down East Diary, p. 337. 

64. Laws of Bowdoin College, 1825, p. 9. The punishment as detailed in Articles 

13-17 of the 1825 edition of the laws are a reformulation of Section 10 of 
Chapter 4 of the 1817 edition, and of laws 12-16 of the 1824 edition. 

65. Laws of Bowdoin College, 1825, p. 13. 

66. Sp. Col., Records of Executive Government, 1805-1820, April 2, 1805, p. 4. 

67. Laws of Bowdoin College, 1825, law 15, p. 10. Rustication — "to dismiss or 

'send down' from a university for a specified time as a punishment" — was a 
practice derived from England and was also used at Harvard and Yale at this 
time (The Oxford English Dictionary, 8:928). 

68. Sp. Col., Diary of Peleg Whitman Chandler, Class of 1832, Oct. 26, 1832. 

69. As quoted in Handy, A Christian America, pp. 23-24. 

Chapter V 

1. Smyth, Three Discourses, pp. 12-13; Little, Historical Sketch, pp. xlviii-xlix. 

2. Hamlin, My Life and Times, p. 97. 

3. Smyth, Three Discourses, p. 13. 

4. Ibid., p. 14. 

5. Sp. Col., Theological Society Records, 1836-1846, p. 14. 

6. Ibid., art. 4. 

7. Ibid., 1846-1850, p. 12. 

8. Ibid., p. 20. 

Notes to pages 50- 56 177 

9. Ibid.; Little, Historical Sketch, p. xlix; Sp. Col., Bowdoin College, Societies 
and Clubs, Folder, Theological Society, 1847. The library in 1847 numbered 
722 volumes, an increase of 48 over the previous year. In Special Collections 
there are six volumes of the Theological Society Librarian's Records, 
1820-1850, giving names of students and the books and periodicals they 
charged out. The library contained many religious books, but also some 
dealing with secular subjects. More books were charged out in the earlier 
years of the society than in the later. According to the Constitution of 1836 
the library was open from twelve to one P.M. each Saturday; each member 
could take out three books and retain them three weeks, periodicals one 
week. A fine of ten cents a week was imposed on books or periodicals kept 
overtime (Sp. Col., Theological Society Records, 1836-1846, p. 4.) 

10. Ibid., pp. 14, 18, 20, 26, 29, 32, 34, 35, 36, 47, 58, 69, 71, 75; ibid., 

1846-1850, pp. 11, 16, 17, 18. 

1 1 . For an account of the founding and activities of the Peucinian and Athenaean 

societies, see Hatch, History of Bowdoin, pp. 304-13; Little, Historical 
Sketch, pp. 87-88. 

12. Smyth, Three Discourses, p. 14. On the influence of Southgate and Cargill, 

see ibid., pp. 14-20; A.S. Packard, "Historical Sketch of Bowdoin College," 
The Quarterly Register, 8 (Nov. 1835): 115-16. 

13. Sp. Col., Records of the Praying Society, 1815-1832, pp. 8, 18, 163. There 

are five volumes of the records of the society (and later the circle) available in 
Special Collections. There is an article on the history of the Praying Circle by 
C.C.TorreyintheOn'en^, Feb. 6, 1884, p. 184. 

14. Hamlin, My Life and Times, p. 97. 

15. Sp. Col., Records of the Praying Society, 1815-1832, p. 9. 

16. Ibid., art. 10. 

17. Ibid., pp. 52, 84, 90, 98, 135. 

18. Ibid., p. 10. 

19. Ibid., p. 69. 

20. Atkins and Fagley, American Congregationalism, pp. 158-163; Ashby, First 

Parish Church, p. 120. Anderson among others joined the First Parish 
Church as a result of a revival in 1 8 1 6 . 

21. Orient, Feb. 18, 1910. 

22. Smyth discusses the revivals of 1815-1816, 1826, 1830-1831, 1834 (Three 

Discourses, pp. 20-26, 43-48, 63-68); A.S. Packard, "Historical Sketch of 
Bowdoin College," The Quarterly Register, 8 (Nov. 1835): 117. 

23. "The Annual Concert of Prayers for Colleges" was established in about 1822 

(Smyth, Three Discourses, p. 43). 

24. Sp. Col., Records of the Praying Circle, 1832-1847, p. 10. 

25. Hall, College Words and Customs, p. 33. 

26. Sp. Col., Diary of Charles P. Roberts, April 6, 1842. Professor Smyth was an 

old hand at trying to stop bonfires. We have a record that on April 13, 1832, 
he caught Peleg Whitman Chandler, Class of 1832, who had taken refuge in 
a Temple (Sp. Col., Diary of Peleg Whitman Chandler, April 13, 1832). 

27. Sp. Col., Diary of Charles P. Roberts, April 7, 8, 9, 11, May 4, 1842; Sp. 

Col., Records of Executive Government, 1831-1855, pp. 123-24. 

28. Foster, Down East Diary, pp. 337-38. 

29. Sp. Col., Records of the Praying Society, 1815-1832, pp. 12, 135. 

30. Ibid., pp. 141, 146-47; ibid., 1832-1847, p. 2. 

31. Ibid., arts. 10, 16, 17, 18, pp. 2-6. 

32. For the dismissal of two members see ibid., 1855-1867, pp. 65, 68. 

33. Ibid., p. 87; see also pp. 78-79. 

178 Notes to pages 56-60 

34. Ibid., 1832-1847, p. 61. 

35. Ibid., 1845-1855, p. 24. 

36. Ibid., p. 55. 

37. Ibid., 1855-1867, pp. 1-5, 13. 

38. Ibid., p. 30. 

39. Ibid., pp. 57-58. 

40. Ibid., p. 80. 

41. A copy of the constitution is to be found ibid., 1867-1882, pp. 1-5. 

42. Ibid., 1855-67, p. 118. 

43. Ibid., 1867-1882, pp. 5, 32, 72, 79, 81. 

44. Meetingof Oct. 27, 1881, ibid., p. 110. 

45. Ibid., p. 111. 

46. Sp. Col., Records of the Bowdoin Y.M. C. A., vol. l.Oct. 18,26, 1882. 

47. Trustee Records, 1794-1853, Sept. 2, 1832, p. 120; Cleaveland and Packard, 

History of Bowdoin, p. 130. 

48. Hamlin, My Life and Times, p. 111. Smyth also states: "Several societies of in- 

quiry, having special reference to the wants of the heathen world, were also 
sustained" (Three Discourses, p. 62). 

49. As quoted in Hatch, History of Bowdoin, p. 289. 

50. Sp. Col., Bowdoin College, Societies — Clubs, Folder, Bowdoin Unitarian 


51. Sp. Col., Diary of Charles P. Roberts, April 5, 1845. 

52. Sp. Col., Bowdoin College, Societies — Clubs, contains three folders on the 

Benevolent Society. There are also four bound volumes, including some ac- 
counts. None of the records go beyond 1827. 

53. On July 13, 1869, the Boards voted: "That the President be authorized to 

remit sixty dollars a year from the term bills of needy and worthy young 
men, not exceeding five in number, in each class as it enters college; and 
such assistance to be continued through the college course if required." On 
July 8, 1873, the Boards rescinded this vote on the recommendation of the 
Finance Committee (Trustee Records, 1854-1905, pp. 164, 219). 

54. Bowdoin College Catalogue, 1930-1931, p. 118. The first State of Maine 

Scholarships were awarded for the academic year 1931-1932. 

55. Sp. Col., Bowdoin College, Societies — Clubs, Folder, Benevolent Society, 

1814-1827, Constitution of 1814. 

56. Sp. Col., Bowdoin College, Societies — Clubs, Folder, Benevolent Society, 


57. Sp. Col., Recordsof the Benevolent Society of Bowdoin College, Incorporated 

January 24, 1826, p. 1. 

58. Ibid., pp. 3-4. 

59. Ibid., pp. 5-6; Sp. Col., Bowdoin College, Societies — Clubs, Folder, 

Benevolent Society, 1814-1827; also Folder, Benevolent Society, 1826-1827. 
Cleaveland and Packard state that the Benevolent Society did not long sur- 
vive its public incorporation (History of Bowdoin, p. 29). 

60. Smyth, Three Discourses, app. A, p. 73. 

61 . Sp. Col. , Records of the Temperance Society of the Maine Medical School at 

Bowdoin College. 

62. Sp. Col., Bowdoin College Temperance Society, 1854-1855, p. 60; Bowdoin 

College, Societies — Clubs, Folder, Temperance Society, notice. 

63. Sp. Col., Bowdoin College, Societies — Clubs, Folder, Enigma Society. 

64. Sp. Col., Records of Executive Government, 1821-1831, p. 181. This 

surveillance of societies was enjoined on the faculty by a vote of the Boards 
on September 1 , 1812 (Sp. Col., Bowdoin College Board Votes, 1794-1815). 

Notes to pages 60-67 1 79 

65. Sp. Col., Diary of Charles P. Roberts, April 10, 1842. 

66. Sp. Col. , Record Book of the Bowdoin Dole of the Raxian. Many pages of the 

record book have been torn out. 

67. As quoted in Smyth, Three Discourses, pp. 79-80. 

68. On this complicated question of the removal of President Allen from office see 

Cleaveland and Packard, History of Bowdoin, pp. 14-15; for the opinion of 
Justice Story, pp. 103-107; Hatch, History of Bowdoin, pp. 74-82; Little, 
Historical Sketch, pp. lxix-lxx. 

69. Sp. Col., Records of Executive Government, 1831-1875, p. 4. 

70. Ibid., p. 40. 

71. Trustee Records, 1794-1853, p. 222. The accepted distribution of duties was 

suspended a year later when President Allen was restored to his office (ibid., 
p. 229). 

72. However, the attitude of some Bowdoin students is no doubt mirrored when 

Hawthorne writes in Fanshawe: "At Harland College there prevailed a deep 
and awful sense of religion" (p. 336). 

Chapter VI 

1. Trustee Records, 1794-1853, p. 161. 

2. Ibid., pp. 163-64. 

3. Ibid., p. 164. 

4. Sp. Col., William Allen Correspondence, Allen to R. Williams, Feb. 10, 

1825, Jan. 5, 1827. The petitions to the legislature are undated. 

5. Trustee Records, Sept. 1827, p. 179. 

6. Sp. Col., Bowdoin College Buildings: Chapel, Folder, 1828-1839. The report 

is signed by Prentiss Mellen, per order, but is not dated. 

7. Sp. Col., William Allen Correspondence, Allen to R. Williams, Feb. 10, 

1825, Jan. 5, 1827. 

8. Cleaveland and Packard, History of Bowdoin, pp. 14-15, 103-06; Hatch, 

History of Bowdoin, pp. 74-82. 

9. Visiting Committee, 1834-1839, Report of 1834, pp. 2-3. 

10. Sp. Col., Bowdoin College Buildings: Chapel, Folder, 1828-1839. 

11. Trustee Records, 1794-1853, Sept. 7, 1836, p. 254. 

12. Ibid., Sept. 4, 1833, p. 232. 

13. Visiting Committee, 1834-1839, Librarian's Report for 1838. 

14. Sp. Col., Bowdoin College Buildings: Chapel, Folder, 1828-1839. The 

minutes of the meeting are signed by Asa Cummings. 

15. Ibid. There are other letters in this folder. 

16. Ibid.; Sp. Col., Robert H. Gardiner, 1782-1864, Folder, Correspondence. 

17. Visiting Committee, 1840-1844, Report of 1841, p. 14. 

18. Trustee Records, 1794-1853, Aug. 31, 1841, p. 296. 

19. Visiting Committee, 1840-1844, Report of Aug. 1842; Sp. Col., Contributors 

to Bowdoin College from 1846 to 1852 including the subscriptions of 1842, 
p. 2. 

20. Visiting Committee, 1840-1844, Report of Aug. 1842. 

21. Ibid., Report of 1843. 

22. On the settlement of the Bowdoin estate see Cleaveland and Packard, History 

of Bowdoin, pp. 108-110; Park, Leonard Woods, p. 35. 

23. Trustee Records, 1794-1853, pp. 305-06, 314. 

24. The agreement was reached on September 28, 1843, and gave the College 

3/10 of the proceedings of certain lands which were to be sold; a long sum- 

180 Notes to pages 67-73 

mary account of these proceedings is given in the Trustee Records, 
1794-1853, pp. 321-25. 

25. President Woods to R. H. Gardiner, Feb. 15, 1844 (Sp. Col., Leonard Woods 

Papers, Correspondence, 1840-1844). President Woods was in New York for 
a month at this time. Mr. Gardiner was acquainted with Upjohn since he 
had designed Gardiner's house in Gardiner, Maine. Gardiner also wrote 
directly to Upjohn on Jan. 8, 1844 (Upjohn Papers, Box 1, N.Y. Public 
Library. Manuscripts and Archives Div.; copy of letter courtesy of Prof. 
W.H. Pierson of Williams College). 

26. Sp. Col., Robert H. Gardiner, 1782-1864, Folder, Correspondence. On 

February 15, 1844, President Woods wrote to Mr. Gardiner: "Mr. McKeen 
has given you such full information of the results of our interview with him 
[Upjohn] that I need add nothing (Sp. Col., Leonard Woods Papers, Cor- 
respondence, 1840-1844). 

27. Sp. Col., Leonard Woods Papers, Correspondence, 1844-1845. 

28. Sp. Col., Bowdoin College Buildings: Chapel, Folder, Correspondence, 

1844-1845, Gardiner to Woods, July 1, 1844; Upjohn to Woods, July 8, 

29. Ashby, First Parish Church, p. 180; see above, p. 28. 

30. N. Appleton to A. Lawrence, Lawrence to Woods, A.S. Packard to Woods, 

Woods to General King (Sp. Col., Records, Folder, 1844; Bowdoin College 
Buildings: Chapel, Folder, Correspondence, 1844-1845. The letters of 
Packard to Woods, Lawrence to Woods, and Woods to King were numbered 
VI, VII, and VIII by someone, probably President Woods. 

31. This letter is undated but on the back of it is a notation in President Woods's 

handwriting: "Original Letter to Gen. King for name of Chapel, Summer of 
1844" (Sp. Col., Bowdoin College Buildings: Chapel, Folder, Cor- 
respondence 1844-1845). 

32. Sp. Col., Leonard Woods Papers, Correspondence, 1840-1844. 

33. Visiting Committee, 1840-1844, Report of 1844, pp. 3-4. 

34. Ibid., p. 5. 

35. Trustee Records, 1794-1853, Sept. 3, 1844, pp. 325, 327. 

36. J. McKeen to R.H. Gardiner, Nov. 7, 1844 (Sp. Col., Robert H. Gardiner, 

1782-1864); Woods to Gardiner, Nov. 11, 1844 (Sp. Col., Leonard Woods 
Papers, Correspondence, 1840-1844). 

37. Sp. Col., Leonard Woods Papers, Correspondence, 1840-1844. 

38. Woods to Daveis. The letter is undated but is postmarked June 8, 1845 (Sp. 

Col., C.S. Daveis Papers, Correspondence, 1844-1845). 

39. Ibid., Address at the Laying of the Corner Stone of King Chapel, p. 44. 

40. Sp. Col., Bowdoin College Buildings: Chapel, Folder, Correspondence, 

1844-1845; Trustee Records, 1794-1853, pp. 332-33. 

41. Trustee Records, 1794-1853, p. 333. 

42. Abstract from the records of the United Lodge, June 28, 1845; Woods to 

Daveis, July 5, 1845. Woods wrote: "Our views agree exactly with yours as to 
the propriety of having Gov. Dunlap perform the masonic part of the 
ceremonies and this has been definitely arranged (Bowdoin College 
Buildings: Chapel, Folder, Correspondence, 1844-1845. 

43. Sp. Col., Diary of Charles P. Roberts, July 15, 1845. 

44. Ibid. July 16, 1845. 

45. Maine Democrat, July 29, 1845. There is a copy of the article in Sp. Col., C.S. 

Daveis Papers, Correspondence, 1840-1864, Folder, 1844-1845. 

46. Ibid. The Latin inscriptions are in the Folder, Miscellaneous. In Sp. Col., 

Bowdoin College Buildings: Chapel, Folder, Correspondence, 1844-1845, 

Notes to pages 73- 79 181 

there is an engraved silver plaque 2\/ 2 by 4 inches stating: "This foundation 
stone of King Chapel was laid by the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of the 
State of Maine, July 16 AD. 1845." The cornerstone is not clearly marked 
and it is impossible to say exactly where it is. 

47. There are a preliminary draft and two handwritten copies of the address in 

Sp. Col., C.S. Daveis Papers, Correspondence, 1840-1864, Folder, July 16, 
1845, Address at Laying of Cornerstone of King Chapel. The address is 
forty-seven pages long on copybook size paper. 

48. Sp. Col., Diary of Charles P. Roberts, July 16, 1845. 

49. Visiting Committee, 1845-1850, Report of 1846, pp. 44, 46. 

50. Trustee Records, 1794-1853, Sept. 1, 1846, p. 340. 

51. Ibid., Sept. 2, 1846, pp. 345-46. 

52. Thomas C. Upham to Woods, Aug. 1, 1846 (Sp. Col., Leonard Woods 

Papers, Correspondence, August -December 1846). This letter is part of a 
collection of letters dealing with the Declaration. See also Professor 
Packard's recollection (Packard, Upham, pp. 15-16). 

53. R.H. Gardiner to Prof. Wm. Smyth, Nov. 30, 1857; Smyth to Gardiner, Dec. 

3, 1857, quoting Professor Upham (Sp. Col., Robert H. Gardiner, 
1782-1864, Correspondence); Gardiner to Daveis, Dec. 29, 1846 (Sp. Col., 
Leonard Woods Papers, Correspondence, August-December 1846). 

54. Cleaveland and Packard, History of Bowdoin, p. 21. Here there is this state- 

ment in a footnote: "The original of this Declaration is left in the keeping of 
Prof. Smyth." Today it is not to be found, nor is the original draft, which 
was revised by Mr. Evans and Mr. Gardiner, at hand. The text of the 
Declaration as given here is from ibid., pp. 21-22. 

55. Leonard Woods to R.H. Gardiner, Nov. 29, 1846 (Sp. Col., Leonard Woods 

Papers, Correspondence, August-December 1846). 

56. Sp. Col., Contributors to Bowdoin College from 1846 to 1852, including the 

subscriptions of 1 842 . 

57. The building of a new dormitory was voted by the Boards on September 7, 

1842, and a loan not exceeding $5,000 was authorized. The building was 
ready for use in the fall of 1843. It was named Appleton Hall on August 31 , 
1847 (Trustee Records, 1794-1853, pp. 305, 347; Visiting Committee, 
1840-1844, Report of 1843, p. 5). The statements in Little, Historical 
Sketch, p. Ixxix and Hatch, History of Bowdoin, p. 409, are misleading. 

58. Professor Wm. Smyth also strongly maintained this position (Smyth to Gar- 

diner, Dec. 3, 1857, Sp. Col., Robert H. Gardiner, 1782-1864, Cor- 

59. Cleaveland and Packard, History of Bowdoin, p. 23; see also Gardiner to 

Woods, Nov. 14, 1846; Gardiner to Daveis, Dec. 29, 1846; A.D. Wheeler to 
E. Peabody, Nov. 4, 1846; Peabody to Wheeler, Dec. 7, 1846, in Sp. Col., 
Leonard Woods Papers, Correspondence, August-December 1846. 

60. Trustee Records, 1854-1905, p. 29; Nathan Weston to Gardiner, Sp. Col., 

Robert H. Gardiner, 1782-1864, Correspondence. 

61 . Cleaveland and Packard, History of Bowdoin, p. 23; Little, Historical Sketch, 

pp. lxxxi-lxxxii; Hatch, History of Bowdoin, pp. 113-15. 

62. Visiting Committee, 1845-1850, Report of 1847, p. 2. 

63. Ibid., pp. 8-9; Trustee Records, 1794-1853, p. 349. 

64. Visiting Committee, 1845-1850, Report of 1848, p. 3. The old chapel was 

removed during the winter vacation of 1847-1848 (A.S. Packard in the 
Orient, Feb. 3, 1873, p. 181). 

65. Trustee Records, 1794-1853, p. 357; Visiting Committee, 1845-1850, Report 

of 1848, p. 8; Report of 1849. 

182 Notes to pages 79-80 

66. Trustee Records, 1794-1853, p. 376. 

67. Ibid., p. 377. 

68. Visiting Committee, 1850-1855, Reports of 1850, 1852, 1855. There have 

been five successful attempts of students to climb the chapel spires. In the fall 
of 1887, Jonathan P. Cilley, Class of 1891, placed the class banner on the top 
of the spire; a day later, George B. Chandler, Class of 1890, removed it and 
left the 1890 class flag. In November 1894 Charles D. Moulton, Class of 
1898, fastened the 1898 class banner on a spire, only to have it replaced the 
next night by Donald B. MacMillan, Class of 1897, who raised the 1897 flag. 
(MacMillan graduated out of course and is carried as a member of the class 
of 1898 in the General Catalogue.) On June 7, 1900, four members of the 
class of 1 903 put the class banner on the spire. They were Clement F. Robin- 
son, Philip T. Harris, Daniel I. Gould, and LeonJ. Emerson. Credit is usual- 
ly given to Gould or Emerson for actually climbing to the top. In the spring 
of 1914 the flag of 1917 was hoisted to the top of the spire, an accomplish- 
ment usually attributed to Frank E. Noyes '17 of Topsham. The college 
authorities now removed the lightning rods from the spires by means of 
which the ascent had been accomplished. In October 1948, on their third at- 
tempt, Julian Holmes, Independent, and six ATO pledges, Brian A. Poyn- 
ton, George C. Maling, Jr., Linwood A. Morrell, Donald M. Russell, T. 
Peter Sylvan, and John V.W. Young, all freshmen, succeeded in getting a 
freshman cap on the top of the spire by means of a balloon and guide lines. 
Getting a freshman cap or other insignia on the top of the chapel spire 
brought, by campus tradition, the suspension of all freshman rules, notably 
the wearing of freshman caps. Sp. Col., Documentary History, 1894-1895, 
p. 13; June- December 1909, p. 103; May 1914-December 1914, pp. 42, 46; 
September 1919-June 1920, p. 100; Orient, October 27, November 3, 1948; 
Clement F. Robinson, "Banner and Spire," Bowdoin Alumnus, 4 (May 
1930), 92-97. 

69. Correspondence with Mr. Wheeler can be found in Sp. Col. , Bowdoin College 

Buildings: Chapel, Folders, Correspondence January 1848-May 1848, May 
1848- October 1848, 1850-1851 and Miscellaneous. On differences between 
Upjohn and Wheeler see particularly letters of Upjohn to Woods, July 15, 
1851 and August 2, 1851. On the carving see letters of Upjohn to Woods, 
April 2, 1852, May 14, 1852, June 19, 1852, June 23, 1852, July 10, 1852, 
ibid., Folders, January-May, 1852, June- August 1852. 

70. Ellingwood to Daveis, July 10, 1847, Sp. Col., C.S. Daveis Papers, Cor- 

respondence, 1840-1864, Folder, 1847. On King's declining health see 
Smith, General William King, pp. 134-36. 

71. Letter of President Woods, July 15, 1850, Sp. Col., Leonard Woods Papers, 

Correspondence, 1845-1857. 

72. On August 19, 1851, C.R. Porter wrote to President Woods: "I have been re- 

quested to appear before the College Committee at Brunswick in relation to 
their claim against Gov. King. Will you do me the favor to inform me when 
the Comt. will have a meeting" (Sp. Col., Bowdoin College Buildings: 
Chapel, Correspondence, 1850-1855). 

73. Woods to Upjohn, April 10, 1852, ibid., Correspondence, January 1852- 

May 1852. At this time Upjohn was asking for the last $100 payment on his 
original fee of $750, and also for 5 percent on the expenditures made since 
the resumption of building in 1851. The long delay in completing the struc- 
ture had caused Upjohn more work, and he felt entitled to further 
remuneration. He did not, however, press the matter, and since he had 
clearly agreed on a total compensation of $750 the College did not feel 

Notes to pages 81-85 183 

obligated to pay him more. See particularly letters of Upjohn to Woods, May 
14, 1852; Woods to Upjohn, May 15, 1852; Upjohn to Woods, May 18, 
1852, May 29, 1852, ibid., Correspondence, January 1852-May 1852; Woods 
to Upjohn, June 23, 1852; Upjohn to Woods, July 5, 1852, August 18, 1852, 
ibid., Correspondence, June 1852- August 1852. 

74. Ibid., Correspondence, January 1852-May 1852. 

75. E. Everett to Daveis, June 19, 1852, Sp. Col., C.S. Daveis Papers, Cor- 

respondence, 1850-1854; Smith, General William King, pp. 136-41. 

76. Ibid.; Woods to Upjohn, April 10, 1852, Sp. Col., Bowdoin College 

Buildings: Chapel, Correspondence, January 1852-May 1852. 

77. Visiting Committee, 1850-1855, Report of 1852 where the letter is appended 

and marked as C . Hatch states that "the meaning of the last clause in the let- 
ter is obscure" (History of Bowdoin, p. 417). Four thousand dollars was the 
amount Professor Upham was confident could be raised if another name 
could be given to the Chapel. When it was apparent that work on the Chapel 
would be "indefinitely suspended" if funds were not provided, Professor 
Upham signed a note in September 1852, obligating himself to pay $1,500 
towards completing the Chapel. It was understood that when he raised this 
amount by solicitation the note would be cancelled. He was successful, and 
in 1855 the Boards voted that the note should be cancelled (Trustee Records, 
1854-1905, pp. 4, 13; see also Visiting Committee, 1850-1855, Reports of 
1852, 1854). 

78. Visiting Committee, 1850-1855, Report of 1852; Trustee Records, 

1794-1853, p. 403; Smith, General William King, p. 134, is in error on the 
name being retained. 

79. Gideon L. Soule to Daveis, Sept. 17, 1854; Woods to Daveis, Sept. 21, 1854, 

Feb. 26, 1855, May 11, 1855, Sp. Col., C.S. Daveis Papers, Correspondence, 

80. Brunswick Telegraph, June 9, 1855, in Sp. Col., Bowdoin College Buildings: 

Chapel, Folder, Dedication of Chapel 1855. There are also other clippings 
and pertinent material in this folder as well as in the Folder, Cor- 
respondence, 1853-1862. See also Sp. Col., Documentary History, 
1860-1865, p. 11. 

81. Sp. Col., Bowdoin College Buildings: Chapel, Folder, Finance, 1839-1855. 

82. Trustee Records, 1854-1905, July 31, 1855, p. 13. 

83. Ibid., p. 19; Visiting Committee, Report of 1856, p. 4. 

84. Visiting Committee, 1856-1860, Report of 1860; Trustee Records, 

1854-1905, p. 52. This room was later used as an art gallery (Little, 
Historical Sketch, p. lxxvii). 

85. Visiting Committee, Report of 1858, p. 2, Report of 1861, p. 7; Trustee 

Records, 1854-1905, p. 63. 

86. Trustee Records, 1854-1905, p. 94. 

87. Ibid., pp. 155, 174. 

88. Visiting Committee, 1856-1860, Report of 1857, p. 1; Report of 1860; 

Visiting Committee, 1861-1864, Report of 1861, p. 2; Report of 1862, p. 2. 

89. Ibid., 1861-1864, Report of 1863; Report of 1869, p. 10; Trustee Records, 

1854-1905, pp. 82, 106. 

90. See above, p. 79. 

91. Trustee Records, 1794-1853, pp. 347, 374, 377,404. 

92. Visiting Committee, 1851-1855, Report of 1852, see also detailed expense of 

cleaning in appended account marked M; Visiting Committee^ 1856-1860, 
Report of 1857, p. 1. 

93. Ibid., Report of 1884, p. 4, Report of 1885, p. 5. 

184 Notes to pages 8 5-88 

94. Ibid., 1856-1860, Report of 1856, p. 4, Report of 1860; Visiting Committee, 

1861-1864, Report of 1861, pp. 2-3, Report of 1862, p. 2. While the new 
library quarters were a great improvement over the old ones, they left much 
to be desired. As a Visiting Committee later reported: "The library rooms 
are ill adapted to the purpose for which they are used." They were dark and 
cold, and the committee considered the main room a "blunder of the ar- 
chitect." To improve the lighting, the Boards in 1884 authorized the 
removal of the stained glass from the body of the windows and the insertion 
therein of clear glass; the stained glass in the borders was to be retained 
(Ibid., Reports of 1882, 1883, 1885; Trustee Records, 1854-1905, p. 403). 

95. Visiting Committee, 1856-1860, Report of 1858, p. 15. 

96. Ibid., Report of 1856. 

97. Ibid., Report of 1858, p. 15. 

98. Eckert, Peter Cornelius, pp. 88, 91. See letters of H.O. Apthorp, Class of 

1829, toJohnMcKeenofJuh/5, 1856, and July 31, 1857 (Sp. Col., Bowdoin 
College Buildings: Chapel, Correspondence, 1853-1867). Hatch writes that 
the anonymous donor is "now known to be Timothy Walker of Boston, a 

cousin of President Woods " (History of Bowdoin, p. 422). Walker is also 

stated to be the donor in the brochure "The Chapel of Bowdoin College" 
(Sp. Col. , Folder, Chapel). Hatch does not state where he obtained his infor- 
mation, and I have not come across a reference to Walker in the archives. 
Hatch must be in error here, for Walker was not a graduate of the College, 
and the Visiting Committee in 1858 states definitely that the gift was by a 
graduate of the College. 

99. Mr. Cummings sold the Danae to George Hall, a New York artist (Orient, 

March 1876, p. 198). 

100. Sp. Col., Documentary History, 1875-1879, p. 55; 1884-1888, p. 12; Orient, 

March 29, 1876, p. 198. 

101. Sp. Col., Documentary History, Dec. 1907-June 1908, pp. 103, 132. 

102. Descriptive Catalogue of the Art Collections of Bowdoin College, p. Ill; 

Orient, September 30, 1913, p. 95; Sp. Col., Documentary History, Dec. 
1915-July 1916, p. 20; President's Report, 1915-1916, p. 57 (report of the 
Director of the Museum of Fine Arts, Henry Johnson). Hatch, History of 
Bowdoin, p. 423 is clearly in error here when he attributes the gift of the 
reproduction of the Isaiah panel to Lucien Howe, Class of 1870, in memory 
of his brother Albion Howe, Class of 1861, and seems to indicate it was 
painted after the Delphic Sibyl panel. Moreover, clippings in the folders of 
Lucien Howe, 1848-1928, or Albion Howe, 1840-1873, in Sp. Col. do not 
refer to any gift of a mural, although there is mention of the other benefac- 
tions by Lucien Howe. 

103. Descriptive Catalogue of the Art Collections of Bowdoin College, p. 111. 

104. Little, Historical Sketch, p. lxxvi. This statement apparently goes back to 

Woods himself (see Park, Leonard Woods, p. 14). 

105. In 1878 Professor Alpheus S. Packard, in his report as Collins Professor to the 

Visiting Committee, complained about the bad acoustics. "It is a serious hin- 
drance in all efforts for the moral and religious influence of the college I 

cannot refrain from repeating that the college has suffered material loss in 
its moral religious influence from this single cause and to urge the attention 
of the Boards to what I deem an urgent necessity for its very best interests. It 
is very desirable at times to address the students, as occasion sometimes arises 
in college life, in a familiar way, but we are absolutely prevented, I have 
reason to know, from such attempts by the bad acoustic properties of the 
prayer room" (Visiting Committee, Report of 1 878). 

Notes to pages 88-93 185 

106. Visiting Committee, 1850-1855, Report of 1855, p. 2. 

107. Orient, March 26, 1903, p. 267. 

Chapter VII 

1. Trustee Records, 1794-1853, p. 358. There are numerous inaccuracies in the 

account of the founding of the Collins Professorship in Named Professorships 
at Bowdoin College, p. 1 . 

2. Minot and Snow, Tales of Bowdoin, Introduction. On Woods as a 

disciplinarian see also Park, Leonard Woods, pp. 35-36; Everett, Leonard 
Woods, pp. 26-28. 

3. Visiting Committee, 1845-1850, Report of 1845, p. 5. 

4. Ibid., Report of 1847, p. 26. 

5. Ibid., p. 22. 

6. Ibid., Report of 1848, Paper marked MI; Trustee Records, 1794-1853, p. 

364; Board votes and terms of the Collins Fund are given in Sp. Col., Potter, 
Titles and Donations of Funds, 1 794- 1 898 . 

7. Trustee Records, 1794-1853, p. 358. 

8. Ibid., pp. 358,368. 

9. Sp. Col., Contributors to Bowdoin College from 1846 to 1852 including the 

subscriptions of 1842; Packard, Upham, p. 16. 

10. Trustee Records, 1794-1853, pp. 363, 370. 

11. Visiting Committee, 1845-1850, Report of President Woods, 1850. 

12. Trustee Records, 1794-1853, p. 373. The $400 did not cover the cost of mov- 

ing, and the Boards later raised the sum to $500. This was refunded to the 
College by Phillips Academy (ibid., p. 400). 

13. Ibid., p. 385. 

14. Visiting Committee, Report of 1853. 

15. Ibid., Report of 1854, appended report of Professor Hitchcock. 

16. Ibid., Report of 1855. 

17. Ibid., 1856-1860, Report of 1859. 

18. On holders of the Collins Professorship see Named Professorships at Bowdoin 

College, pp. 1-4. 

19. See below, p. 100. 

20. Trustee Records, 1854-1905, p. 250; see also ibid., 1794-1853, p. 365. 

21. Ibid., 1854-1905, p. 46. 

22. Ibid., July 18, 1874, p. 250. 

23. Susan Collins to the President and Trustees, Sept. 27, 1875; William P. Put- 

nam to George R. Swasey, April 13, 1896, Business Office, 33108-1434, Col- 

24. Trustee Records, 1854-1905, p. 279; Visiting Committee, Report of 1877, 

p. 8. 

25. Statement of Ira P. Booker, Business Office, 33108-1434, Collins. 

26. Trustee Records, 1854-1905, p. 291; Sp. Col., Potter, Titles and Donations of 

Funds, 1794-1898, pp. 5-8; Statement of Ira P. Booker and letters of Put- 
nam to Bradbury, Jan. 25, 1896, Putnam to Swasey, April 13, 1896, 
Business Office, 33108-1434, Collins. 

27. Putnam to Swasey, June 20, 1896, Business Office, 33108-1434, Collins. Mrs. 

Collins died in 1890, and her will was allowed January 19, 1891. The bond 
definitely states "without interest," but the College made some claim to in- 
terest. In regard to such payment, a letter to W.S. Hutchinson (sender's 
signature illegible) of January 25, 1896, states: "There may be some ques- 
tion whether there should not be some interest, but in view of all cir- 

1 86 Notes to pages 93-99 

cumstances, I do not think the college would claim it or ought to claim it." 
On the other hand, William P. Putnam, in a letter to Mr. Swasey of April 
13, 1896, claimed interest payments. He wrote: "Probably, by the terms of 
this bond, the college had no right to demand anything of her [Mrs. Collins] 
during her lifetime. At any rate it did not, so that no part of the interest of 
the seventy-five hundred dollars has been paid, for a period of now over 
twenty years." Later in the letter he, however, asks Mr. Swasey, a lawyer in 
Boston, "to ascertain the rights of the College as to interest under the bond" 
(Business Office, 33108-1434, Collins). 

28. As quoted in Hatch, History ofBowdoin, p. 299. 

29. Visiting Committee, Report of 1897. At this time the Boards undertook to 

review the College's lands and funds, and Barrett Potter, Class of 1878, a 
local lawyer and secretary of the Trustees, submitted two reports (Business 
Office, 33108-1434, Collins). 

30. Burnett, Hyde, p. 172. 

31. Copy of the decree, Business Office, 33108-1434, Collins. 

32. Ibid.; Trustee Records, 1906-1929, p. 376. 

33. Business Office, 33108-1434, Collins. 

34. Trustee Records, 1854-1905, pp. 101-03. 

35. Ibid., p. 103. 

36. Ibid., p. 110. 

37. Ibid., pp. 169-70. In July 1877 Boody asked to be relieved of his debt to the 

College in order to avoid bankruptcy, as he had just lost a suit for $200,000. 
In July 1878 the Boards granted this release (ibid., pp. 292, 308). 

38. Whig and Courier, July 17 , 1869, inSp. Col., Documentary History, 3:153. 

39. Trustee Records, 1854-1905, pp. 316, 330, 348. The letters exchanged by Mr. 

Winkley and President Chamberlain are to be found, Business Office, 
33101-414, Winkley. Mr. Winkley was also one of the largest benefactors of 
Bangor Theological Seminary (Clark, Bangor Theological Seminary, p. 

40. Business Office, 33104-414, Winkley; Trustee Records, 1906-1929, p. 52; 

Named Professorships at Bowdoin College, pp. 25-30. 

41. Trustee Records, 1854-1905, pp. 349, 352-53, 360; Sp. Col., Potter, Titles 

and Donations of Funds, 1794-1898; Named Professorships at Bowdoin Col- 
lege, pp. 22-24. 

42. Trustee Records, 1906-1929, p. 49; Business Office, Stone Professorship (Ac- 

count Closed). Other correspondence relative to the Stone Professorship can 
be found in this folder in the Business Office. 

43. Trustee Records, 1854-1905, p. 174; 1906-1929, pp. 7, 46, 49; see also the 

statement of General Thomas H. Hubbard of February 1908 in Sp. Col., 
Documentary History, December 1907-June 1908, p. 49. 

44. Sp. Col., Documentary History, December 1907-June 1908, p. 49; see also 

President's Report, 1907-1908, pp. 23-34. 

45. On the founding of these scholarships see Trustee Records, 1854-1905, pp. 

182, 200, 266, 291; Sp. Col., Potter, Titles and Donation of Funds, 
1794-1898, pp. 19-20, 31-32. Mr. Delano also bequeathed to the College 
$500 to be added to the Collins Professorship fund. 

46. Trustee Records, 1854-1905, p. 410; Sp. Col., Potter, Titles and Donations of 

Funds, 1794-1898, p. 55. The current college catalogue does not carry these 
preference restrictions. 

47. Preference statements as listed in Bowdoin College Catalogue, 1979-1980. 

48. Trustee Records, 1854-1905, pp. 358-59, 374-76, 446, 512-13; Sp. Col., Pot- 

ter, Titles and Donations of Funds, 1794-1898, pp. 40, 50. 

Notes to pages 99 108 187 

49. Hatch, History of Bowdoin, p. 90; Deems, Maine—First of Conferences, pp. 


50. Deems, Mame — First of Conferences, pp. 18-19. 

51. Ibid., pp. 19-20. 

52. Sp. Col., Documentary History, January-June 1907, p. 101. 

53. Trustee Records, 1854-1905, January 14, 1874, p. 232. 

54. Copy of the letter in Sp. Col., Documentary History, 3:87. 

55. Little, Historical Sketch, p. xciv. 

56. Ibid., pp. lxxxiii-lxxxiv; Hatch, History of Bowdoin, p. 123; Wallace, Soul of 

the Lion, pp. 30-31. 

57. President Harris in his inaugural address mentions the denominational 

character of colleges but never refers to Congregationalism in connection 
with Bowdoin; this was no doubt taken for granted (Harris, Inaugural Ad- 
dress, pp. 18-19). 

58. Addresses at the Inauguration of the Rev. William DeWitt Hyde, pp. 38-39. 

59. Sp. Col., Documentary History, 1884-1888, p. 82. 

60. Ibid., letter of July 12, 1886, p. 60. 

61. Rev. M. Ellis, "The Legal Situation of the Congregational Colleges with 

Reference to the Denomination," The Pacific: San Francisco, Cal. (Sp. Col., 
Documentary History, July 1888 to June 1891, p. 121, clipping). 

62. See newspaper clippings on the proposed transfer in Sp. Col., Documentary 

History, 1899-1900, pp. 35, 53, 85, 99, 105. The seminary had very few 
students at this time, 23 in 1899, 17 in 1900, 23 in 1901-1903 (Clark, Bangor 
Theological Seminary, pp. 285-86). There had long been a friendly relation- 
ship between Bowdoin and the seminary. Professor Henry L. Chapman of 
Bowdoin was a member of the Seminary Board of Trustees from 1885 to 
1913 and president of the board from 1887 to 1911 (ibid., p. 351). 

63. Trustee Records, 1854-1905, June 1900, p. 630. The faculty followed the lead 

of the Boards and adopted a resolution welcoming the Bangor Seminary to 
Brunswick (Faculty Records, 1894-1900, June 30, 1900, p. 380). 

64. Sp. Col., Documentary History, May-September 1911, p. 59. 

65. Ashby, First Parish Church, p. 270. 

66. Letter of First Parish Assessors Danl. Elliot and Wm. Smyth to the College 

Visiting Committee in Visiting Committee, 1861-1864, Report of 1863. 

67. Ashby, First Parish Church, p. 271. 

68. Trustee Records, 1854-1905, p. 155; Visiting Committee, Report of 1869, p. 

22, Report of 1876-1877, appended report of Finance Committee of 1876. 

69. Ibid., Report ofjuly 19, 1877, p. 16. 

70. Trustee Records, 1854-1905, July 11, 1877, p. 297; the life of the committee 

was extended in 1878, p. 308. 

71. Ashby, First Parish Church, p. 337. 

72. Trustee Records, 1854-1905, July 8, 1879, pp. 316-18. 

73. Ibid. June 1894, p. 542. 

74. Orient, October 16, 1889, p. 129. 

75. The Orient stated in 1889 that the Church on the Hill "is the official college 

church, and the one which the professors of the college attend and support" 
{Orient, October 16, 1889, p. 130). 

76. Ashby, First Parish Church, pp. 367-70. 

Chapter VIII 

1. Harris, Inaugural Address, pp. 16-19. 

2. Sp. Col., Records of Executive Government, 1849-1868, misc., p. 121. 

188 Notes to pages 108-114 

3. Visiting Committee, 1861-1864, Report of 1862, appended report of Pro- 

fessor Egbert C. Smyth. 

4. Ibid., Report of 1864, p. 25. 

5. Ibid., Report of 1866; Trustee Records, 1854-1905, p. 125. 

6. Visiting Committee, Report of 1867, appended report of A. S. Packard. 

7. Sp. Col., Records of Executive Government, 1831-1875, April 18, 1870, p. 


8. Faculty Records, 1956-1968, p. 348. 

9. Ashby, First Parish Church, pp. 338-39. The installation of gas lighting in the 

church building was completed on July 3, 1871 (ibid., p. 328). 

10. Sp. Col., Records of Executive Government, 1831-1875, July 1, 1871, p. 236. 

11. Visiting Committee, Report of 1870, appended report of President Harris. 

12. Little, Historical Sketch, p. xc; see also Wallace, Soul of the Lion, p. 229. 

13. Sp. Col., Chamberlain, The New Education, typescript, pp. 3-4. 

14. Ibid., p. 9. Chamberlain expressed much the same views in his speech at the 

Wycliff Semi-Millennial Celebration, December 2, 1880, when he said: "Sad 
and dire would be the day. ..which God grant may never dawn or darken on 
the land... when the American people should cease to study and know the 
word of God" (Sp. Col., Cross, "Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain," pp. 68-69). 

15. These changes can be traced in Sp. Col., Cross, "Joshua Lawrence 

Chamberlain," pp. 55-75; Hatch, History of Bowdoin, pp. 156-80; Wallace, 
Soul of the Lion, pp. 229-47. 

16. Faculty Records, 1871-1876, September 2, 1871, p. 2. 

17. Visiting Committee, Report of 1872, appended report of President 


18. Faculty Records, 1871-1876, June24, 1872, p. 34. 

19. Ibid., August 29, 1872, p. 35. There apparently had been some omissions of 

evening prayers earlier, related to the introduction of the program of 
military training, for the college catalogue of 1872, p. 34, states: "Evening 
Prayers or Roll Calls are held at six o'clock or at sunset." This statement also 
appears in the 1873 catalogue, p. 34, but then disappears in later editions. 

20. Sp. Col., Records of Executive Government, 1876-1884, p. 102. 

21. Visiting Committee, Report of 1878; appended report of Professor Alpheus S. 

Packard; Bowdoin College Catalogue, 1878-1879, p. 27. 

22. Visiting Committee, Report of 1874, appended report of President 

Chamberlain, July 1, 1874. 

23. Sp. Col., Records of Executive Government, 1831-1875, p. 243. 

24. Faculty Records, 1871-1876, January 27, 1873, p. 49. 

25. Ibid., pp. 140-41. 

26. Orient, March 10, 1875. 

27. Sp. Col., Records of Executive Government, 1876-1884, December 12, 1881, 

p. 309. 

28. Visiting Committee, 1861-1864, Report of 1862, appended report of Pro- 

fessor Egbert C . Smyth, April 22, 1862. 

29. Orient, March 24, 1873, p. 246. 

30. Ibid., March 13, 1878, p. 187. 

31. Sp. Col., Recordsof Executive Government, 1876-1884, February 5, 1877, p. 

50; Faculty Records, 1884-1894, p. 183. 

32. Orient, March 30, 1887, p. 257. 

33. Ibid., May 12, 1897. 

34. First Annual Reunion of the Bowdoin Alumni Association of New York, p. 


35. Ashby, First Parish Church, p. 271. 

Notes to pages 115-119 189 

36. Ibid.; Minot and Snow, Tales ofBowdoin, p. 91; Orient, March 25, 1874. 

37. Orient, October 16, 1878, p. 70. 

38. For articles or communications against compulsory attendance see Orient, 

May 1, 1871, p. 22; June 26, 1871, p. 89; November 29, 1876, p. 112; 
November 13, 1878, p. 86; January 12, 1881, p. 149; October 19, 1881, pp. 
83-84; April 30, 1884, pp. 6-7; October 30, 1889, pp. 149-50; May 12, 1897, 
p. 21; January 16, 1917, p. 231. 

39. For articles or communications defending compulsory attendance see Orient, 

November 2, 1881, pp. 96-98; November 16, 1881, pp. 104-05; November 
13, 1889, p. 162; February 4, 1891, p. 227; March 18, 1891, p. 266; March 
21, 1901, p. 247;January 16, 1917, p. 231. 

40. Sp. Col., Records of Executive Government, 1876-1884, May 28, 1880, pp. 


41. Ibid. January 28, 1881, p. 270. 

42. Ibid., April 30, 1883, p. 370; Faculty Records, 1884-1894, January 17, 1887, 

p. 83. 

43. Faculty Records, 1884-1894, September 12, 1885, p. 34. 

44. Ibid., September 16, 1889, p. 176; September 30, 1889, pp. 178-79; October 

7, 1889, pp. 180-81; October 21, 1889, p. 183; October 28, 1889, p. 184, 
December 16, 1889, p. 190. 

45. Orient, December 18, 1889, p. 202. 

46. Ibid., February 4, 1891, p. 227; see also March 18, 1891, p. 266. 

47. Sp. Col., Records of Executive Government, 1876-1884, December 10, 1877, 

p. 103; Orient, February 12, 1890, p. 245. 

48. Faculty Records, 1884-1894, pp. 268-69, 359. 

49. Ibid., 1894-1900, March 16, 1896, p. 98. The committee consisted of Pro- 

fessors Little, Chapman, and MacDonald. 

50. Ibid., April 27, 1896, pp. 105-06. 

51. Ibid., p. 341. 

52. Ibid., p. 348. 

53. Visiting Committee, Report of 1910, p. 10; Trustee Records, 1854-1905, June 

1900, p. 633. 

54. Orient, October 11, 1900, November 8, 1900. 

55. President's Report, 1902-1903, p. 13. 

56. Orient, February 24, 1905, p. 278. 

57. Faculty Records, 1900-1907, March 13, 1905, p. 351; November 13, 1905, p. 


58. Orient, March 20, 1902, pp. 243-44. 

59. Visiting Committee, Report of 1902, p. 11. 

60. Faculty Records, 1900-1907, March 24, 1902, p. 172. 

61. Ibid., June 27, 1902, p. 193. No record of what the committee of two pro- 

posed is at hand, but the faculty apparently did not mend its ways much, for 
President Hyde soon reminded them again of the desirability of their atten- 
dance at chapel (ibid., 1907-1915, p. 230). In 1908 the Visiting Committee 
was "happy to observe more of the faculty present" at chapel, and that there 
were more quiet and reverence among the students (Visiting Committee, 
Report of 1908, p. 6). 

62. Trustee Records, 1854-1905, p. 703. 

63. Faculty Records, 1900-1907, February 13, 1905; September 25, 1906, p. 436. 

64. Before the semester system was adopted in 1904-1905 there had been fifteen 

cuts for each term, making it forty- five for the year; the students gained one 
cut under the new system (Orient, January 27, 1905, p. 249; February 17, 
1905, p. 267; see also October 12, 1887, p. 107). 

190 Notes to pages 119-123 

65. Cleaveland and Packard, History ofBowdoin, p. 30. 

66. Sp. Col., Records of Executive Government, 1821-1831, September 2, 1831, 

p. 181. 

67. Article byjosiah Crosby, Class of 1835, on the old chapel organ, Orient, June 

27, 1888, p. 75. 

68. Ashby, First Parish Church, pp. 162-65. 

69. Orient, March 14, 1877, p. 184. 

70. Ibid., March 11, 1872, p. 246; see also February 10, 1873, p. 200. 

71. Ibid., March 24, 1875, p. 189;May21, 1879, p. 27; June23, 1880, p. 162. 

72. Sp. Col., Records of Executive Government, 1876-1884, May 28, 1880, pp. 


73. Visiting Committee, Report of 1881, appended report. 

74. Orient, November 2, 1881, p. 99; Sp. Col., Records of Executive Govern- 

ment, 1876-1884, December 17, 1883, p. 402. 

75. Visiting Committee, Report of 1884, p. 7; also appended report of Professor 


76. Orient, September 29, 1886, p. 106. 

77. Faculty Records, 1884-1894, June25, 1887, p. 106. 

78. Orient, May 30, 1888, p. 29. The Crockers were wealthy merchants of New 

Bedford, Massachusetts. 

79. Trustee Records, 1854-1905, June 26, 1888, p. 459; see also Orient, May 30, 

1888, p. 29. 

80. Orient, May 30, 1888, p. 29; Faculty Records, 1884-1894, p. 131. The pro- 

gram of the recital and concert are to be found in Sp. Col., Folder, Oliver 
Crocker Stevens, 1876. 

81. Faculty Records, 1884-1894, p. 167; Trustee Records, 1854-1905, pp. 461, 

470, 530; Visiting Committee, Report of 1888, p. 10; Report of 1889, ap- 
pended president's report. 

82. Sp. Col., Documentary History, 1888-1891, p. 43, clipping from Boston 

Journal, January 30, 1890. 

83. Faculty Records, 1888-1894, March 9, 1891, p. 248, ibid., 1894-1900, p. 75; 

ibid., 1900-1907, p. 30. 

84. President's Report, 1900-1901, p. 18. 

85. Orient, May 9, 1901, p. 17; October 24, 1901, p. 111. The Bugle of 1913 

listed twenty members of the chapel choir along with the members of a 
quartet and a double quartet. 

86. Faculty Records, 1907-1915, November 11, 1907, pp. 77, 82; Sp. Col., 

Documentary History, June-December 1907, p. 151, clipping, November 15, 

87. Sp. Col., Documentary History, September 1912-May 1914, p. 21; Faculty 

Records, 1907-1915, pp. 198, 261, 312, 323; ibid., 1915-1919, p. 112. 

88. Bowdoin College Catalogue, 1912-1913, pp. 91-92. Five semester courses were 


89. Burnett, Hyde, p. 113. 

90. Olmstead, Religion in the U.S., pp. 489-94; Hudson, Religion in America, p. 


91. Hyde, College Man and College Woman, p. 127. 

92. President's Report, 1902-1903, p. 13; ibid., 1903-1904, pp. 20-21. 

93. Songs of Bowdoin, p. 26; Orient, June 11, 1873, p. 42; June 21, 1876, p. 21; 

June 13, 1888,p.55;June5, 1914, p. 69. 

94. Faculty Records, 1894-1900, December 4, 1899, p. 331; see also January 27, 

1890, p. 194; Orient, February 2, 1906, p. 250; Hopkins, History of the 
Y.M.C.A., pp. 284-85. 

95. President's Report, 1892-1893, pp. 24-25; ibid., 1893-1894, p. 10. 

Notes to pages 123-126 191 

96. Ibid., 1906-1907, pp. 9-10. The Orient regularly covered many other Sunday 

and weekly chapel services as well, so that the chapel messages reached more 
students than those who were actually present. 

97. Dr. Ashby states that the program continued for a score of years (First Parish 

Church, p. 386). Since there is no list of college preachers in the 1918-1919 
college catalogue, it can be assumed that the program ended before the 
death of Professor Files on April 23, 1919. He had been making annual gifts 
for the program (Burnett, Hyde, p. 176). 

98. Sp. Col., Records of the Bowdoin Y.M.C.A., 1882-1893, p. 1; the volume 

does not have page numbers. This volume of records was lost but found in 
1899 and placed in the college library. Another volume (labelled Vol. 2) 
covers the period April 13, 1898 to November 5, 1908. There must have 
been a volume containing the records from 1 893 to 1 898 (which is referred to 
in Vol. 2 as Vol. 1 ) which is lost, as are the records for the years after 1 908. 

99. Sp. Col., Records of the Bowdoin Y.M.C.A., 1898-1908, p. 55. Mention of 

the adoption of the constitution is made here, and it is stated that it is given 
in Vol. 1 , p. 169. This volume of the records has been lost. 

100. Ibid., pp. 74-75, 77, 82, 95, 105. 

101. Visiting Committee, Report of 1909; appended report of the Christian 


102. Orient, October 12, 1906; see also October 11, 1907. On November 18, 1910, 

the Orient reported that the previous year out of 198 members only 120 paid 

103. Visiting Committee, Report of 1884, appended report of Professor Alpheus S. 


104. Orient, November 9, 1887, p. 130. 

105. Ibid., September 28, 1898, p. 99; President's Report, 1902-1903, p. 13; 

1903-1904, pp. 21-24; Orient, October 12, 1906. 

106. Whiteside, Boston Y.M.C.A., p. 32. 

107. At least in 1890 and 1891 the Y arranged a course of lectures which were very 

popular. There was a charge of $1.50 for the course, $.35 for a single ticket. 
The course for 1890 was as follows: January 19, J. P. Baxter, president of the 
Maine Historical Society on "An Historic City"; January 23, F.A. Hill, 
master of English High in Cambridge, "New England Pioneer Days"; 
February 5, Professor L.A. Lee, Bowdoin, "The Straits of Magellan 
(illustrated by the stereopticon)"; February 12, N.T. Whittaker, D.D., 
"America, Her Mission and Destiny"; February 24, Professor H.L. Chap- 
man, Bowdoin, "Chaucer"; March 3, Dudley A. Sargent, M.D., Harvard, 
"Physical Culture"; March 13, Edward Stanwood, of the Youth's Compan- 
ion, "The Spirit of the Age." On February 4, 1891 the Orient lamented "But 
75 course tickets have been taken by students." 

108. This became a regular activity of the association. In the fall of 1915 circular 

letters were sent to fifty representative churches within a one hundred-mile 
radius of Brunswick in an effort to extend the deputation work of the associa- 
tion {Orient, December 7, 1915, p. 180). 

109. Orient, April 19, 1899, p. 18. 

110. This "Freshman Bible" continued to be published until 1969 (Orient, April 

16, 1971); Hopkins, History of the Y.M.C. A., p. 284. 

111. See the two excellent chapters "The Rise of the Student Movement" and "Fifty 

Years of the Student Y.M.C. A." in Hopkins, History of the Y.M.C. A., pp. 

112. President's Report, 1903-1904, pp. 20-21; 1905-1906, pp. 11-12; Orient, 

March 17, 1905. 

113. Orient, July 31, 1908, p. 91. Money to pay part of his salary was now available 

192 Notes to pages 126-129 

from the funds of the Collins Professorship, and the Visiting Committee in 
1900 stated: "The wisdom of that arrangement [use of the Collins fund] has 
been amply justified by the results in the religious life and activity of the 
students during the year" (Visiting Committee, Report of 1909, p. 11). 

114. Orient, October 16, 1908, p. 119. Mr. Scott reported to the Visiting Commit- 

tee that during the year the Y had held twenty-two weekly meetings with an 
average attendance of fifty, addressed by fifteen outside speakers, three 
members of the faculty, and four undergraduates (Visiting Committee, 
Report of 1 909, appended report). 

115. Orient, January 21, 1910, p. 199; March 18, 1910, p. 241. This Alumni Ad- 

visory Committee is listed in the spread of the Y.M.C.A. for the last time in 
the J BMg/eofl923. 

116. President's Report, 1909-1910, pp. 27-32; McConaughy's report to the 

Visiting Committee, Visiting Committee, Report of 1910. The president 
failed to mention some of the Y activities. See list of the appointed commit- 
tees, Orient, May 20, 1910, p. 55. 

117. Orient, March 17, 1911, p. 245; October 13, 1911, p. 98. 

118. Bowdoin College Catalogue, 1914-1915, p. 67. 

119. President's Report, 1913-1914, p. 20; 1914-1915, p. 14. The practice of 

reporting on religious activities at the College was continued by President 
Sills but was dropped by later presidents. 

120. Bowdoin College Catalogue, 1910-1911, p. 91; 1911-1912, p. 99; 1912-1913, 

p. 117. 

121. Orient, April 9, 1912, p. 6; June4, 1915, p. 79. 

122. Sp. Col., Documentary History, October 1911-May 1912, pp. 71, 77; May- 

December 1912, pp. 26, 29. The Gibbons Club is listed in the Bugle for the 
years 1913 to 1916, but not thereafter. There was no English Catholic 
church in Brunswick at this time. 

123. Sp. Col., Documentary History, October-May 1912, p. 96. 

124. Ibid., January-July 1910, p. 141. For a biographical sketch of Dreer see Sp. 

Col., Chenault, "The Blackman at Bowdoin," pp. 1 1-20. 

125. Sp. Col., Documentary History, August 1865-July 1875, p. 76. In 1877 and 

1888 Bowdoin conducted summer sessions to which women were admitted 
(Sp. Col., Cross, "Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain," pp. 57-58; Wallace, Soul 
of the Lion, p. 231). 

126. Sp. Col., Documentary History, 1860-1865, pp. 11, 72; 1884-1888, p. 15. 

127. President's Report, 1903-1904, p. 21. The other denominations were: 

115 Congregationalists, 32 Methodists, 29 Universalists, 19 Episcopalians, 19 
Unitarians, 18 Baptists, 2 Presbyterians, 2 Swedenborgians, 1 Christian, and 
16 with no preference. 

128. This was the first time religious preference was entered on a student's college 

record. There is no mention of religious preferences in the old bound student 
records c. 1853-1900, nor in the loose leaf records 1840-1853. I was unable to 
find the student records for the years before 1840. Starting with the class of 
1927, the religious preferences of students were regularly entered on their 
college record cards; this practice was ended with the class of 1974. There 
are a few scattered religious preference entries on cards of classes before 
1927, probably late entries. 

129. President's Report, 1920-1921, p. 10. 

130. Conversation with President Sills when the writer was chairman of the Com- 

mittee on Religious Activities at the College. On the membership of Jews in 
fraternities see below, pp. 147-50. 

Notes to pages 131-136 193 

Chapter IX 

1. Visiting Committee, Report of 1910, pp. 9-10; Report of 1911, p. 8. 

2. Professor Henry L. Chapman had served as dean of the faculty from 1883 to 

1885, but the duties of his office were quite different. 

3. Brown, Sills, pp. 70-75, 77-78, 88-92. 

4. Ibid., pp. 418-20. 

5. Addresses at the Inauguration of Kenneth Charles Morton Sills, pp. 22-23. 

6. Sills, Baccalaureate Address, June 16, 1918, pp. 10-11. In his baccalaureate 

address in 1921 on "The Virtue of Hope," Sills stated: "But the Christian 
College which deals eternally with the things of the spirit ought not to leave 
her sons ignorant as those who have no Hope [of immortality]" 
(Baccalaureate Address, June 19, 1921, p. 5). 

7. Bowdoin College Catalogue, 1918-1919, p. 43; 1919-1920, p. 43; Faculty 

Records, 1915-1919, pp. 151, 198. 

8. The Committee on Religious Activities is last listed in the 1959-1960 college 


9. Orient, March 5, 12, 19, April 30, 1918. 

10. Ibid., November 12, 1918, p. 130. 

11. Ibid., October 21, 1925, p. 1. 

12. I am indebted to Philip S. Wilder '23, Richard G. Wignot '26, and Donovan 

D. Lancaster '27 for these verses. 

13. Conversation with President Sills when the writer was chairman of the Com- 

mittee on Religious Activities. In his report in 1951, Sills stated: "I have felt 
that the individual churches in Brunswick should shoulder responsibility for 
keeping in their particular folds those who naturally belong there" 
(President's Report, 1950-1951; see also 1931-1932, p. 12). 

14. See above, p. 129.; also the longhand record, Sp. Col., Student Religious 

Preferences, Classes 1930-1948, Compiled by Religious Denominations. An 
attached sheet gives religious preferences of students from 1920-1921 to 

15. President's Report, 1922-1923, p. 10; Sp. Col., Documentary History, April 

1923-Januaryl924, p. 71. 

16. Orient, December 15, 1926. 

17. Ibid., November 2, 1927, p. 1 ; November 30, 1927, p. l;May9, 1928, p. 2. 

18. Portland Press Herald, August 17, 1923, clipping in Sp. Col., Documentary 

History, April 192 3 -January 1924, pp. 109-10; Orient, November 7, 1923, p. 
2, February 19, 1930, p. 30, December 21, 1932, p. 1. The chimes were 
manufactured by Meneely and Company, Watervliet, New York. The Col- 
lege issued a souvenir programme of the inaugural recitals with descriptive 
notes on the chimes and how they are played (Sp. Col., College Buildings, 
Box 2, Folder, College Buildings: King Chapel. Hatch is in error as to when 
the bells were installed (History of Bowdoin, p. 291). 

19. Sp. Col., Documentary History, June 1926-July 1927, p. 43; Orient, June 1, 

1927, p. I;june23, 1927, p. 1. 

20. The recital program listed the specifications of the organ (Sp. Col., College 

Buildings, Box 2, Folder, College Buildings: King Chapel; Sp. Col., 
Documentary History, June 1926-July 1927, p. 145. Mr. Curtis had studied 
organ with Mr. Hermann Kotzschmar of Portland, a good friend of Mr. 
Curtis's father. 

21. See the lists of chapel speakers which President Sills regularly incorporated in 

his annual reports. 

194 Notes to pages 137-143 

22. President's Report, 1919-1920, pp. 8-9. 

23. Orient, January 22, 1919, p. 188. 

24. Ibid., December 1, 1920, p. 250. 

25. Ibid., February 18, 1925, p. 2. The editorial by John R. Aspinwall '26 seems 

to have aroused little interest as there were no answering or supporting com- 
ments in succeeding issues of the Orient. 

26. Ibid., September 30, 1925, p. 2; October 7, 1925, pp. 2, 4; October 14, 1925, 

p. 2; February 10, 1926, p. 1. 

27. Report on the Needs of the College (Committee of the Faculty), p. 22; Report 

on the Needs of the College (Committee of the Alumni), p. 19. 

28. No copy of the questionnaire is available; some of the questions can be 

gleaned from articles in the Orient and from the report of the committee. 

29. Report on the Needs of the College (Committee of the Students), pp. 38-39; 

see also Orient, February 24, 1926. 

30. Seniors came to be allowed forty cuts, juniors thirty-five, sophomores thirty, 

and freshmen twenty-five. Double cuts for chapel were ended (Instructions 
on chapel attendance, Registrar's Archives). 

31. Report on the Needs of the College (Committee of the Students), p. 40. 

Chapel services apparently had been discontinued during final examinations 
at the end of the second semester, but not the first (Orient, January 13,1 926, 
p. 2). Starting in 1926 chapel services were also suspended during first 
semester final examinations (Faculty Records, 1920-1940, p. 147). 

32. Report on the Needs of the College (Committee of the Students), p. 41. 

33. President's Report, 1925-1926, p. 11; Brown, Sills, p. 238. 

34. President's Report, 1925-1926, pp. 8-9. 

35. Report on the Needs of the College (Committee of the Students), pp. 13-14. 

36. Faculty Records, 1907-1915, p. 421. 

37. On'en*,Junel3, 1916, p. 99. 

38. Faculty Records, 1915-1919, February 21, 1911, p. 85. 

39. President's Report, 1924-1925, p. 10. 

40. Ibid., 1927-1928, p. 11. 

41. Bowdoin College Catalogue, 1928-1929, p. 96. 

42. Faculty Records, 1920-1940, January 30, 1930, p. 255. 

43. President's Report, 1929-1930, pp. 14-15. 

44. Orient, March 2, 1927, p. 2; October 17, 1928, p. 2. 

45. Ibid., October 9, 1929, pp. 1, 3. 

46. Ibid., April 16, 1930, p. 1. 

47. Ibid., April 23, 1930, p. 1; April 30, 1930, p. l;May7, 1930, p. 1. 

48. Ibid., October 8, 1930, p. 1; October 15, 1930, p. 2. 

49. Ibid., October 29, 1930, p. 2. 

50. Faculty Records, 1920-1940, p. 282. 

51. Ibid., March 23, 1931, p. 283. 

52. President's Report, 1930-1931, p. 19. 

53. Trustee Records, 1930-1938, June 16, 1931, p. 70. 

54. President's Report, 1931-1932, appended report of Dean Nixon, pp. 30-31. 

55. Orient, November 5, 1930, pp. 1-2. President Woods had made the college 

chapel available to the Episcopalians, and during World War I, when the 
Milliken Regiment was stationed in Brunswick, mass was said regularly in 
the Chapel (ibid., December 10, 1930, p. 3). 

56. Ibid., October 29, 1930, p. 3; December 5, 1930, p. 1 ; December 18, 1930, p. 

3; February 19, 1931, p. 1. 

57. Ibid., December 18, 1930, p. 1. 

58. Ibid., April 13, 1932, p. 1; April 27, 1932, p. 1. 

Notes to pages 143-147 195 

59. The writer's personal recollection. In 1937 Dean Nixon stated: "When Gor- 

don Gillett originally proposed a Religious Forum, I was among those who 
doubted its success. I thought I knew more about undergraduate inertia in 
such matters, more about youth's indifference to things of the spirit than I 
did know. The student interest in the first Forum proved me a badly 
mistaken Dean" (ibid., February 24, 1937, p. 3). 

60. President's Report, 1931-1932, p. 13. 

61. Ibid., p. 12. 

62. The writer's personal impression based on conversations with President Sills; 

also the impression of Philip S. Wilder '23, who for many years worked close- 
ly with President Sills on the chapel program. 

63. Orient, February 22, 1933, p. 2. 

64. President's Report, 1932-1933, p. 2. 

65. On'en*, January 10, 1934, pp. 1-2. 

66. Faculty Records, 1920-1940, June 18, 1934, p. 353; Bowdoin College 

Catalogue, 1934-1935, p. 15; Visiting Committee, Report of June 1935, in 
Original Records of the Boards. 

67. President's Report, 1936-1937, p. 10. 

68. Faculty Records, 1920-1940, February 17, 1939, p. 457. 

69. Ibid., October 30, 1939, p. 471; November 7, 1939, p. 472; March 11, 1940, 

p. 478. 

70. Ibid., October 21, 1946, p. 179; September 25, 1947, p. 215. 

71. Bowdoin College Catalogue, 1944-1945, p. 75. 

72. Robert M. McNair, acting rector at the local Episcopal church, served as lec- 

turer in religion in 1948-1949 while Mr. Russell was on leave; Carl F. Andry 
did the same in 1950-1951. Ronald P. Bridges '30 joined Mr. Russell in the 
department in the spring semester of 1954 as Visiting Professor of Religion 
on the Tallman Foundation. Professor Russell resigned in June 1954 to 
assume a position in the Finance Department of the American Friends Ser- 
vice Committee (Orient, December 16, 1953). He was followed by William 
D. Geoghegan as assistant professor of religion. 

73. President's Report, 1936-1937, p. 9. 

74. Hymns for Worship, 
lb. Personal recollection. 

76. Van Dyke, Responsive Readings. 

77. Orient, March 10, 1948. The committee consisted of Professors E.C. 

Helmreich (chairman), A. P. Daggett, W.C. Root, P.S. Turner, H.G. 
Russell, and P.S. Wilder. 

78. The Hymnal. 

79. Orient, July 8, 1942. The average daily attendance of students and faculty for 

the first term of summer school was 57, for the second term 43. There were 
three days when attendance was below 30 and nine when it was over 70. 
Musical services were particularly popular (Sp. Col., Faculty Committees, 
Misc. Reports, 1928-1947, Folder, 1942, Report by A. P. Daggett). The 
enrollment at summer school was 382 (President's Report, 1942-1943, p. 8). 

80. Orient, September 6, 1944. 

81. Ibid., November 15, 1944. 

82. This question was raised at other colleges as well at this time. Report of the 

Fourth Pentagonal Conference on the Undergraduate College, held at Bow- 
doin February 28 to March 2, 1947, in Sp. Col., Faculty Committees, Misc. 
Reports, 1928-1947, Folder, 1947; Report of the Ninety-first Meeting of 
Association of Colleges in New England, October 11-12, 1949, p. 9, in Sp. 
Col., Faculty Committees, Misc. Reports, 1948-1958, Folder, 1949; also 

1 96 Notes to pages 147-152 

Folder, 1950, for the meeting of the Association of Colleges in New England, 
1950, p. 10. 

83. Presidents Report, 1936-1937, p. 16. Throughout its existence the writer was 

the faculty adviser to the Thorndike Club. 

84. See reports of the dean appended to the various reports of the president. In a 

letter to the Orient, October 23, 1976, Philmore Ross '43 wrote: "During the 
pre-World War II era at Bowdoin College, Anti-Semitism manifested itself 
in two ways. First, there was the obviously practiced but officially denied 
negative quota system in admissions. Secondly, there was the exclusion of 
Jews from fraternities. Both of these acts of bigotry were equally applied to 
Blacks. Admission was so selective that almost invariably the non-fraternity 
group came out on top in scholastic standing, but was deemed ineligible for 
the annual award which went to the top fraternity." 

85. Orient, January 30, 1946, p. 1. 

86. Ibid., letter from the Thorndike Club, January 25, 1946, Sp. Col., Bowdoin 

College, Societies — Clubs, Folder, Thorndike Club. 

87. Orient, January 30, 1946. 

88. Ibid., February 27, 1946, p. 1; see also March 8, 1946, Special Fraternity 

Issue; March 13, 27, May 15, 1946. 

89. Ibid., March 13, 1946; Sp. Col., Bowdoin College, Societies — Clubs, Folder, 

Thorndike Club. 

90. Faculty Records, 1940-1956, December 5, 1946, p. 179; letters in Sp. Col., 

Bowdoin College, Societies — Clubs, Folder, Thorndike Club. 

91. Orient, April 7, 1948; April 23, 1952. 

92. Ibid., March 8, 1946. Some students charged that the Orient misrepresented 
student opinion and called a meeting to which representatives of all frater- 
nities were invited to discuss the matter (ibid. , May 1 , 1 946). The Orient car- 
ried no report on this meeting if it was ever held. 

93. Ibid., January 15, 1947. 

94. Ibid., April 23, 1947. 

95. This was the policy set by the committee, and it was recognized by the ad- 

ministration. See statements as to Bowdoin's position in Report of Fourth 
Pentagonal Conference on the Undergraduate College at Bowdoin, 1947, in 
Sp. Col., Faculty Committees, Misc. Reports, 1928-1947, Folder, 1947. The 
faculty did not formally adopt such a policy until 1956 (Faculty Records, 
1940-1956, p. 492). 

96. Petition with signatures, Sp. Col., Bowdoin College, Societies — Clubs, Folder, 

Thorndike Club, Faculty Records, 1940-1956, pp. 234-35. 

97. Faculty Records, 1940-1956, pp. 236-37; S. Chase to E. C. Helmreich, March 

11, 1948, Sp. Col., Bowdoin College, Societies — Clubs, Folder, Thorndike 
Club; Orient, April 7, 1948. 

98. Faculty Records, 1940-1956, May 10, 1948, p. 245. 

99. Orient, November 16, 1949; Report of the Fourth Pentagonal Conference on 

the Undergraduate College at Bowdoin, 1947, pp. 10-11, in Sp. Col., Facul- 
ty Committees, Misc. Reports, 1928-1947, Folder, 1947. 

100. Orient, March 17, 1948; September 29, 1948; November 10, 1948. 

101. President's Report, 1950-1951, p. 19. 

102. Faculty Records, 1940-1956, October 24, 1950, p. 304; January 15, 1951, p. 

337; President's Report, 1950-1951, p. 20. 

103. President's Report, 1950-1951, p. 19. 

104. Ibid. 

105. Orient, March 26, 1952, p. 2. 

106. Ibid., April 2, 1952, p. 1; see also March 26, 1952, p. 2. 

Notes to pages 152-156 197 

107. Sp. Col., Documentary History, December 12, 1951-December 31, 1952, p. 


108. The members of the committee were Professors E. C. Helmreich (chairman), 

W.C. Root, P.S. Turner, and L. N. Barrett. In the summer of 1952, when 
Professor Barrett left Bowdoin, Professor E. Pols was appointed to take his 
place (Faculty Records, 1940-1956, p. 385). For study the committee was 
supplied with "Complete Progress Report of Study, What is a Christian Col- 
lege," Christian Education, 34 (December 1951), no. 4. 

109. Professor Ernst C. Helmreich represented Bowdoin. 

110. In its progress report in the spring of 1952 the Bowdoin committee stated: 

"What the latter term [Christian college] implies has perhaps never been 

minutely defined Briefly, however, the term has always seemed to signify 

that the College recognized the importance of religion in a well-rounded and 
purposeful life, and supported those ethical and moral values which are an 
inherent part of our Christian-Judaic heritage" (Sp. Col., Faculty Commit- 
tees, Misc. Reports, 1948-1958, Folder, 1952). 

Chapter X 

1. Inauguration of James Stacy Coles, October 13, 1952, p. 28. 

2. For example, in the first semester of 1937 President Sills took daily chapel 

twenty-four times, Rev. Thompson E. Ashby eleven times, Professor Mitchell 
ten times, Dean Nixon five times, other faculty members eleven times, other 
local clergy two times, and there were musical services seven or eight times. 
In the first semester of 1963, President Coles took chapel four times, Dean 
Kendrick once, Dean Greason twice, and introduced speakers twice; there 
were five B.C. A. -sponsored speakers, two musical services, six outside 
speakers, and other faculty took the services forty times. It was difficult to 
recruit this large number of faculty (P.S. Wilder to President Coles, 
December 3, 1963, Coles Papers, Folder, Chapel, 1963-1964, Registrar's Ar- 

3. Orient, April 22, 29, 1953. 

4. Ibid., November 17, 1954. 

5. Faculty Records, 1940-1956, December 13, 1954, p. 450. 

6. Orient, April 22, 1953. 

7. Ibid., March 10, 1954. 

8. Committee on Religious Activities to Dean Kendrick, May 5, 1954, Sp. Col., 

Interfaith Forum, Folder, Newman Club. The committee consisted of Pro- 
fessors E.C. Helmreich (chairman), Eaton Leith, J.M. Moulton, and H.G. 
Russell, and Mr. Glenn R. Mclntire. Under "Student Activity Groups," a 
photograph of the officers of the Newman Club appeared for the first time in 
the Bugle for 1959. 

9. Orient, April 2, 1952. 

10. Ibid., November 3, 10, 1954, December 15, 1954. President Coles had been 

consulted about the change of names, but he had not suggested it. For the 
constitutions of the B.I.F. adopted in May 1955 and amended in May 1961, 
seeSp. Col., Interfaith Forum, Folder, B.I.F. History; Folder, B.I.F. 1960s. 

11. Orient, May 16, 1956. 

12. Portland Press Herald, March 31, 1958, Sp. Col., Documentary History, Oc- 

tober 22, 1957-May22, 1958, p. 67, clipping. 

13. Sp. Col., Documentary History, October 22, 1957-May22, 1958, p. 67. 

14. Question 12 of the questionnaire. See Appendix C of The Conservative Tradi- 

tion of Education at Bowdoin College. 

198 Notes to pages 156-161 

15. Ibid., pp. 84-85. 

16. Ibid., p. 59. The three professors were: Alban Gregory Widgery, 1928-1929; 

Robert Henry Lightfoot, 1937-1938; Ronald Perkins Bridges, Spring 1954. 

17. Ibid., pp. 78-80, app., p. 19. 

18. That there was still need for action on discrimination by fraternities is 

substantiated by a "Census of Bowdoin Students with Reference to Religious 
Preference, October, 1953" made by Professor Orren C. Hormell. He found 
that there were five fraternities without any Jewish members, four with one 
member, two with three members. There was one fraternity which had forty- 
seven Jewish members, while there were no Jews among the Independents 
(Sp. Col. , Interfaith Forum, bound typescript, no folder). 

19. Coles Papers, Folder, Chapel, 1961-1962, Registrar's Archives; Bowdoin Col- 

lege Catalogue, 1961-1962, p. 67; 1962-1963, p. 83. 

20. Coles Papers, Folder, Chapel, 1961-1962, Registrar's Archives. 

21. Ibid., January 13, 1962. 

22. Orient, January 11, 18, 1962; March 1 , 8, 1962. 

23. See his statement in Orient, March 1, 1963. 

24. Ibid., January 11, 1963; letter to President Coles, Coles Papers, Folder, 

Chapel, 1962-1963, Registrar's Archives; Bowdoin Alumnus 40 (July 1966): 

25. Orient, January 1 1 , 18, 1963. 

26. Ibid., May 3, 1963; see also May 10, 17,24, 1963. 

27. Ibid., May 17, 24, 1963. 

28. Ibid., May24, 1963; See also letter by Robert S. Frank, Jr. '64, May 17, 1963. 

29. Coles to Peter R. Seaver '64, president of the Student Council, June 20, 1963; 

Coles to Robert S. Frank '64, June 20, 1963; Frank to Coles, July 1, 1963, 
Coles Papers, Folder, Chapel, 1963-1964, Registrar's Archives. 

30. Faculty Records, 1956-1968, October 14, 1963, p. 233. 

31. Coles to the committee, October 23, 1963, Coles Papers, Folder, Chapel, 

1963-1964, Registrar's Archives. 

32. Nevertheless, Robert S. Frank, Jr. '64 wrote a long letter to the Orient, 

November 15, 1963, criticizing the administration for stalling on the policy 
of attendance at chapel . 

33. Faculty Records, 1956-1968, February 4, 1964, March 9, 1964, pp. 257-260; 

Orient, March 13, 1964. 

34. Orient, September 25, 1964. 

35. Trustee Records, 1964-1965, June 11, 1964, p. 54. 

36. Since 1 974 the opening convocation, although it is held, has not been listed on 

the weekly college calendar. 

37. Bowdoin College Catalogue, 1964-1965, p. 21. 

38. Orient, March 11, 1966. 

39. Faculty Records, 1956-1968, April 18, 1966, p. 338. 

40. Ibid. June 6, 1966, p. 348. 

41. Trustee Records, 1966-1968, June 1966, p. 85; Sp. Col., Charter and By-Laws 

of Bowdoin College, Effective July 1, 1966, ch. 8. The last phrase of this by- 
law about teaching "distinctly denominational tenets or doctrines" was drop- 
ped from the by-laws in January 1978 (Trustee Records, 1977-1978, p. 195). 

42. Faculty Records, 1956-1968, December 12, 1966, p. 365. 

43. Orient, March 3, 1967. 

44. Faculty Records, 1956-1958, p. 388; Orient, May 5, 12, 1967. 

45. Trustee Records, 1956-1968, June 1961, p. 370; Coles Papers, Folder, 

Chapel, 1961-1962, Registrar's Archives. 

46. Orient, October 26, 1973. 

Notes to pages 161-166 199 

47. Ibid., February 28, 1963, March 19, 1963. The B.I.F. is dropped and the 

B.C. A. reappears in the 1963 Bugle, p. 70. 

48. Orient, March 19, 1963. 

49. Ibid., February 28, 1963. 

50. Ibid., March 19, 1963. 

51. Ibid., May 10, 1963; Bugle, 1966, p. 44. The voting members of the council 

were to be the president, one delegate, and the faculty adviser of each 
member organization (By-Laws of the Interfaith Council, Sp. Col., Inter- 
faith Forum, Folder, B.I.F. 1960s). 

52. "This year the Newman Club has benefited from the formation of the Bow- 

doin Interfaith Council, which controls the budget of its three members. 
Under the impetus of this financial stability the Club has presented speakers 
of interest to Catholics and Non-Catholics" (Bugle, 1964, p. 117). The three 
organizations referred to were the Newman Club, the B.C. A., and the Bow- 
doin Student Religious Liberals Club. 

53. Faculty Records, 1956-1968, June 10, 1963, pp. 224-225; Trustee Records, 

1964-1965, February 1964, p. 27. 

54. Faculty Records, 1956-1968, p. 224. 

55. Orient, November 11, 1966; tape 9 of General Ledger for 1964-1965, 

Business Office. 

56. Orient, February 7, 1975, p. 8; conversation with Father John Davis, who in- 

augurated the project. 

57. Faculty Records, 1969-1971, p. 158; Orient, October 15, 22, 1971. 

58. The folk mass was first celebrated at 9:00 P.M. in Conference Room A of the 

Moulton Union. On January 18, 1968, it was shifted to Terrace Under of the 
Moulton Union; on December 13, 1973, to the Chapel; on September 13, 
1975, the time was shifted to 6:00 P.M., a week later to 6:15 P.M. on Satur- 
days; on February 21, 1976, it was shifted to the Main Lounge of the 
Moulton Union, on September 24, 1977, to the Lancaster Lounge; and on 
September 22, 1979, the time was shifted to 4:30 p.m. on Saturdays (Bowdoin 
College Calendar). 

59. Faculty Records, 1969-1971, p. 158; similar motions had been defeated in 

1969 and 1970, ibid., pp. 46, 116. 

60. In 1971-1972, 1972-1973, 1973-1974, 1975-1976, 1976-1977, 1977-1978. 

1979-1980 funds were voted directly to the Newman Apostolate; in 
1974-1975 and 1978-1979 they were voted to the Interfaith Council (Faculty 
Records). There is a file of the reports of the Faculty Committee on Student 
Activities Fee in the President's Office and some can be found in Special Col- 
lections. The minutes of the faculty no longer disclose what funds each ac- 
tivity receives. 

61. The constitution of the Bowdoin Jewish Association is dated February 1968 

(Sp. Col., Interfaith Forum, Folder, Religious Organizations other than 
Newman Club). 

62. Faculty Records, 1956-1968, April 18, 1966, p. 336; Orient, September 30, 


63. Faculty Records, 1956-1968, p. 437. 

64. Bowdoin College Catalogue, 1979-1980, pp. 186-190. 

65. It appeared last in Bowdoin College Catalogue, 1967-1968, p. 7. 

66. R.K. Beckwith to A. P. Daggett, August 10, 1967, Coles Papers, Chapel, 

Folder, 1964-1968. Registrar's Archives. 

67. Coles Papers, Chapel, Folder, 1964-1968. Registrar's Archives; Orient, 

September 29, 1967. 

68. Bowdoin College Calendar, 1967-1968, 1968-1969. 

200 Notes to pages 166-168 

69. The B.C. A. appeared for the last time in the Bugle for 1968. The Bowdoin 

College Calendars carry no notice of the B.C. A. in this period; nor is there 
any mention of granting it student activities fees in the faculty committee 
report for 1970-1971 when, for once, the appropriation to the Interfaith 
Council is broken down. In that year only the Bowdoin Jewish Association, 
the Newman Apostolate, and the Student Religious Liberals received stu- 
dent activities money. 

70. Orient, March 7, 1969; April 11, 1969. 

71 . Sp. Col. , Bowdoin College Calendar for the period. 

72. Orient, October 26, 1973; Sp. Col., Bowdoin College Calendar for the 


73. Bowdoin Alumnus, 52 (Fall, 1978): 7-11. 

74. Bowdoin: An Introduction to the College, 1979-80, pp. 38-39. 

75. Smyth, Three Discourses, p. 70; Little, Historical Sketch, p. li. 


Documentary Sources 

The sources for the history of religion at Bowdoin are found in various places 
at the College. Most of the unpublished material is to be found in Special Collec- 
tions (Sp. Col.) at the library. There is no comprehensive catalogue or guide to 
what is available here, and so one must rely heavily on the knowledge of the person 
in charge of the collection. Folders on graduates, containing miscellaneous clip- 
pings, letters, and other pertinent documents, are transferred to this collection 
from the Alumni Office when the last surviving member of a class has died. The 
manuscript material is largely in folders stored in archival boxes, and so I have 
cited the title of the box and the folder. Also in Special Collections are to be found 
files of the college paper, the Orient; the class yearbook, the Bugle; the college 
catalogues; the college calendars; and a most useful collection of clippings and 
other memorabilia called the Documentary History. 

The Trustee and Overseer records are kept in the safe in the Business Office, 
as are the important reports of the Visiting Committee. For the early years a 
number of these yearly reports are gathered together in bound volumes; later ones 
are filed in separate folders, and the more recent are bound in with the Trustee 
records. At times these reports have the pages numbered, at other times not, and 
so precise citation is not always possible. Appended to the committee reports are 
unpaged reports which for many years each member of the faculty made to the 
committee. In the file cabinets of the Business Office there is also much valuable 
manuscript material, for example, files on the funds establishing named professor- 
ships or scholarships. There are also records of the appropriations and expen- 
ditures of student activities fees for various student organizations. 

Faculty records are in Special Collections, except for the most recent ones, 
which are kept in the safe in the storage room of the Registrar's Office, here called 
Registrar's Archives. The student record cards for the more recent classes are also 
kept here. File cabinets in this storage room have an assortment of papers of the 
more recent college administrations. There are also numerous files in the Presi- 
dent's Office. 

In my footnotes, when it seemed necessary, I have indicated in which 
depository the particular material is to be found. Except for a few special studies 
this documentary material is not listed in the bibliography. To facilitate finding 
the complete bibliographical reference for the abbreviated titles used in the foot- 
notes, books, pamphlets, and magazine articles have all been listed together in this 

202 Religion at Bowdoin College: A History 

Books and Special Studies 

Addresses at the Inauguration of Kenneth Charles Morton Sills as President of 
Bowdoin College, June 20, 1918. Brunswick, 1918. 

Addresses at the Inauguration of the Rev. William DeWitt Hyde as President of 
Bowdoin College, Wednesday, June 23, 1886. Brunswick, 1886. 

Addresses of Rev. Jesse Appleton, D.D., Late President of Bowdoin College: 
Delivered at the Annual Commencements, from 1808 to 1818; with a Sketch 
of his Character. Brunswick, 1820. 

Appleton, Rev. Jesse. The Works of Rev. Jesse Appleton, D.D., Late President of 
Bowdoin College, embracing his Course of Theological Lectures, and his 
Academic Addresses and a Selection from his Sermons with a Memoir of his 
Life and Character. Edited by Alpheus S. Packard. 2 vols. Andover, 1837. 

Ashby, Thompson Eldridge. A History of the First Parish Church in Brunswick, 
Maine. Edited by Louise R. Helmreich. Brunswick, 1969. 

Atkins, Gaius Glenn and Fagley, Frederick L. History of American Congrega- 
tionalism. Boston, 1942. 

Axtell, John L. The Educational Writings of John Locke: A Critical Edition with 
Introduction and Notes. Cambridge, 1968. 

Bowdoin Alumnus. Brunswick, 1927-. 

Bowdoin: An Introduction to the College, 1979-80. Brunswick, 1979. 

Bowdoin College Calendar. Brunswick, 1937-. Published weekly. 

Bowdoin College Catalogue. Brunswick, 1807-. Published annually. 
First issued as broadsides and after 1822 as bound volumes. 

The Bowdoin Orient, Brunswick, 1871-. 

Now heralded as "The Oldest Continuously- Published College Weekly in the 
United States." 

Brauer, Jerald C. Protestantism in America: A Narrative History. Philadelphia, 

Brault, Gerard J. "A Checklist of Portraits of the Campus of Bowdoin College 
Before the Civil War." Typescript. 1960. Special Collections, Bowdoin Col- 

Brown, Herbert Ross. Sills of Bowdoin: The Life of Kenneth Charles Morton Sills, 
1879-1954. New York, 1964. 

Buck, Charles Rinker. "Thomas Cogswell Upham. A Study of the Moral 
Philosopher in New England with a Commentary on the Elements of Mental 
Philosophy: The Outline of Disordered Mental Action, and the Philosophical 
and Practical Treatise on the Will." Honors thesis, Bowdoin College, 1973. 

Bugle. Brunswick, 1858-. 
The class yearbook. 

Burnett, Charles T. Hyde of Bowdoin: A Biography of William DeWitt Hyde. 
Boston, 1931. 

Chadboume, Ava Harriet. A History of Education in Maine: A Study of a Section 
of American Educational History. Orono, Me., 1936. 

Chamberlain, Joshua Lawrence. The New Education: President Chamberlain's In- 
augural Address, July 19, 1872. Brunswick, 1879. 

The Bowdoin library does not have a copy of the published address but has a 
typescript in Special Collections. 

"The Charter of Bowdoin College (Effective January 25,1 974)." Mimeographed. 
Has amendments to the charter. 

Charter of Bowdoin College Together with Various Acts of the Legislature and the 
Decision of the Circuit Court and the By-Laws of the Overseers. Brunswick, 

Bibliography 203 

Chenault, Kenneth. "The Blackman at Bowdoin." Honors thesis, Bowdoin Col- 
lege, 1973. 
Clark, Calvin Montague. History of Bangor Theological Seminary. Boston, 1916. 
. History of the Congregational Churches in Maine: History of the Maine 

Missionary Society, 1807-1925. Vol. 1. Portland, 1926. 
Cleaveland, Nehemiah and Packard, Alpheus Spring. History of Bowdoin College 

with Biographical Sketches of its Graduates from 1806 to 1879, Inclusive. 

Boston, 1882. 
Cohen, Sol, ed. Education in the United States: A Documentary History. 5 vols. 

Westport, 1973-1974. 
"Complete Progress Report of Study, What is a Christian College?" Christian 

Education 34 (December 1951): 257-320. 
"The Conservative Tradition in Education at Bowdoin College: Report of the 

Committee on Self Study." Typescript. Brunswick, 1955. 

A printed report was published by the College in 1956 but does not contain 

the valuable appendices of the original. 
"Contributors to Bowdoin College from 1846 to 1852, including the subscriptions 

of 1842." Bound volume. Special Collections, Bowdoin College. 
Cook, Walter L. Bangor Theological Seminary: A Sesquicentennial History. 

Orono,Me., 1971. 
Cross, Robert M. "Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain." Honors thesis, Bowdoin Col- 
lege, 1945. 
Deems, Mervin M. Maine — First of Conferences: A History of the Maine 

Conference — United Church of Christ. Bangor, 1974. 
Descriptive Catalogue of the Art Collections of Bowdoin College. Brunswick, 1930. 
Eckert, Christian. Peter Cornelius. Leipzig, 1906. 
Ellis, Rev. M. "The Legal Situation of the Congregational Colleges with Reference 

to the Denomination." The Pacific; San Francisco , Cal. Special Collections, 

Bowdoin College. Documentary History, 1888-1891, p. 121. 
Everett, Charles Carroll. Leonard Woods: A Discourse. Brunswick, 1879. 
First Annual Reunion of the Bowdoin Alumni Association of New York at 

Delmonico's,fanuary 19, 1871. New York, 1871. 
Foster, Benjamin Browne. Down East Diary. Edited by Charles H. Foster. Orono, 

Me., 1975. 
Fuller, Melville Weston. "Anniversary Address, Thursday, June 28, 1894." In 

Memorial of the One Hundredth Anniversary of the Incorporation of Bow- 
doin College. Brunswick, 1894. 
General Catalogue of Bowdoin College and the Medical School of Maine, 

1794-1894. Brunswick, 1894. 

Contains the "Historical Sketch" by George Thomas Little. There is also a 

memorial edition of this catalogue which contains addresses delivered at the 

centennial observances. 
General Catalogue of Bowdoin College and the Medical School of Maine: A 

Biographical Record of Alumni and Officers, 1794-1950. Edited by Philip S. 

Wilder. Brunswick, 1950. 
General Catalogue of Bowdoin College and the Medical School of Maine: A 

Biographical Record of Alumni and Officers, 1900-75. Edited by Edward 

Born. Brunswick, 1978. 
Hall, ¥>.W.A Collection of College Words and Customs. Rev. andenl. Cambridge, 

Mass., 1856. 
Hamlin, Cyrus. My Life and Times. Boston, 1893. 
Handy, Robert T. A Christian America: Protestant Hopes and Historical 

Realities. New York, 1971. 

204 Religion at Bowdoin College: A History 

Harris, Samuel. Inaugural Address, August 6, 1867. Brunswick, 1867. 

Hatch, Louis C. The History of Bowdoin College. Portland, 1927. 

Hawthorne, Nathaniel. Fanshawe and Other Pieces. Boston, 1876. 

Helmreich, Louise R., ed. Our Town: Reminiscences and Historical Studies of 

Brunswick, Maine, from the Collections of the Pejepscot Historical Society. 

Brunswick, 1967. 
Herring, CM. Historical Discourse at the Semi- Centennial of the Berean Baptist 

Church of Brunswick at Brunswick, September 2, 1890. Brunswick, 1890. 
Hitchcock, Roswell D. A Sermon Delivered at the Dedication of the New Chapel of 

Bowdoin College, Thursday, June 7, 1855. Brunswick, 1855. 
Hopkins, C. Howard. History of the Y.M.C.A. in North America. New York, 

Howell, Roger, Jr. A New Humanism: The Inaugural Address of Roger Howell, 

Jr., Tenth President of Bowdoin College, October 3, 1969. Brunswick, n.d. 
Hudson, WinthropS. Religion in America. New York, 1965. 

Hyde, William DeWitt. The College Man and the College Woman. Boston, 1906. 
The Hymnal. Philadelphia: General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the 

United States, 1946. 
Hymns for Worship. New York: Council of North American Student Christian 

Movements of the World's Student Christian Federation, 1939. 
The Inaugural Address Delivered in Brunswick, September 2, 1802, by the Rev. 

Joseph McKeen, A.M. and A. A. S., at his Entrance on the Duties of President 

of Bowdoin College: With a Eulogy, Pronounced at his Funeral, by the 

Reverend William Jenks. Portland, 1807. 
Inauguration of James Stacy Coles, October 13, 1952. Bowdoin College Bulletin, 

308. Brunswick, 1953. 
Jenks, William. An Eulogy Pronounced in Brunswick, (Maine) July 18th, 1807, at 

the Funeral of the late Rev. Joseph McKeen, D.D., A.A.S., and President of 

Bowdoin College. Bound with The Inaugural Address Delivered in 

Brunswick, September 2, 1802 by the Rev. Joseph McKeen. Portland, 1807. 
King, Willard W. Melville Weston Fuller: Chief Justice of the United States, 

1888-1910. New York, 1950. 
Laws of Bowdoin College. Hallowell, 1817. 

There are numerous subsequent revised editions of these laws published in 

Lincoln, Charles S.F. The Story of the first Hundred Years of St. Paul's Episcopal 

Church in Brunswick, Maine, 1844-1944. Brunswick, 1944. 
Little, George Thomas. "A Historical Sketch of Bowdoin College during its First 

Century." In General Catalogue of Bowdoin College and the Medical School 

of Maine, 1794-1894, pp. ix-cxii. Brunswick, 1894. 
Memorial of the One Hundredth Anniversary of the Incorporation of Bowdoin 

College. Brunswick, Maine, 1894. 

This is a special edition of General Catalogue of Bowdoin College and the 

Medical School of Maine, 1 794-1894 and contains addresses and poems given 

at the commemorative exercises. 
Minot, John Clair and Snow, Donald Francis. Tales of Bowdoin: Some Gathered 

Fragments and Fancies of Undergraduate Life in the Past and Present Told 

by Bowdoin Men. Augusta, 1901. 
Mitchell, Wilmot Brookings. A Remarkable Bowdoin Decade, 1820-1830. 

Brunswick, 1952. 
Morison, Samuel Eliot. The Founding of Harvard College. Cambridge, 1935. 
, ed. The Development of Harvard University Since the Inauguration of 

President Eliot, 1869-1929. Cambridge, 1930. 

Bibliography 205 

Named Professorships at Bowdoin College. Bowdoin College Bulletin, 399. 

Brunswick, 1976. 
Nason, Everett H.; Hall, Norma; Nason, Susan A; and Purinton, Edith. "History 

of the United Methodist Church of Brunswick, Maine, 1821-1973." 

Typescript. Brunswick, 1979. 
Olmstead, Clifton E. History of Religion in the United States. Englewood Cliffs, 

N.J., 1960. 
Orient. See Bowdoin Orient. 
Packard, A.S. Address on the Life and Character of Thomas C. Upham, D.D., 

Late Professor of Mental and Moral Philosophy in Bowdoin: Delivered at the 

Interment, Brunswick, Me., April 4, 1872. Brunswick, 1873. 
. "Historical Sketch of Bowdoin College." The Quarterly Register 8 (Nov. 

1835): 105-117. 

Our Alma Mater: An Address delivered before the Association of the 

Alumni of Bowdoin College, August 5, 1858. Brunswick, 1858. 
Paley, William. Natural Theology or Evidences of the Existence and Attributes of 

the Deity Collected from the Appearances of Nature. New ed. Boston, 1855. 
. A View of the Evidences of Christianity in Three Parts: Part I Of the direct 

Historical Evidence of Christianity and wherein it is distinguished from the 

Evidence alleged for other Miracles. Part II Of the Auxiliary Evidences of 

Christianity. Part III A brief Consideration of some popular Objections. 3 

vols, in one. Boston, 1795. 
Park, Edwards A. The Life and Character of Leonard Woods, D.D., LL.D. 

Andover, 1880. 
Pierson, William H., Jr., The Corporate and the Early Gothic Styles. American 

Buildings and Their Architects. Garden City, N.Y., 1978. 
Potter, Barrett. Bowdoin College: Report to the Treasurer Describing Land of the 

College in Brunswick, Maine. Brunswick, 1898. 
— i . "Bowdoin College: Titles and Donations of Funds, 1794-1898." Bound 

manuscript. Special Collections, Bowdoin College. 
President's Report. Brunswick: Bowdoin College, 1892-. Published annually. 
Report on the Needs of the College (Committee of the Alumni). Bowdoin College 

Bulletin, 158. Brunswick, 1926. 
Report on the Needs of the College (Committee of the Faculty). Bowdoin College 

Bulletin, 152. Brunswick, 1926. 
Report on the Needs of the College (Committee of the Students). Bowdoin College 

Bulletin, 153. Brunswick, 1926. 
Robinson, Clement F. "Banner and Spire," Bowdoin Alumnus 4 (May 1930): 

Sills, Kenneth Charles Morton. Baccalaureate Address, June 16, 1918. Brunswick, 


. Baccalaureate Address, June 19, 1921. Brunswick, 1921. 

. Joseph McKeen (1757-1807) and the Beginnings of Bowdoin College, 

1802. New York: Newcomen Society of England, American Branch, 1945. 
Smith, Marion Jaques. General William King: Merchant, Shipbuilder, and 

Maine's First Governor. Camden, Me., 1980. 
Smyth, Egbert C. "Address on the Religious History of the College, Wednesday, 

June 27, 1894." In Memorial of the One Hundredth Anniversary of the In- 
auguration of Bowdoin College. Brunswick, 1894. 
. Three Discourses Upon the Religious History of Bowdoin College, During 

the Administrations of Presidents McKeen, Appleton, and Allen. Brunswick, 


206 Religion at Bowdoin College: A History 

Songs of Bowdoin. Compiled and edited by George A. Foster '05, Neal W. Allen 

'07, and James M. Chandler '08. New York, 1 906. 
Souvenir of the 50th Anniversary of St. John the Baptist Parish. Brunswick, Maine, 

1877-1927. Brunswick, 1927. 
"Student Religious Preference, Classes 1930-1948." Compiled by Clara Hayes. 

Bound manuscript. Special Collections, Bowdoin College. 

Includes religious preferences of students from 1920-1921 to 1936-1937. 

Members of the classes of 1930-1948 are listed by name under various 

Van Dyke, Henry. Responsive Readings Selected from the Bible and Arranged 

Under Subjects: For Use in the Chapel of Harvard University. Boston, 1 899. 
Wallace, Willard M. Soul of the Lion: A Biography of General Joshua L. 

Chamberlain. New York, 1960. 
Weston, Isaac. "History of the Association of Ministers of Cumberland County, 

Maine, from 1787 to 1867." The Congregational Quarterly 9 (1867): 334-347. 
"What is a Christian College." Christian Education 34 (Dec. 1951): 257-320. 
Wheeler, George Augustus and Wheeler, Henry Warren. History of Brunswick, 

Topsham, and Harpswell, Maine, Including the Ancient Territory Known as 

Pejepscot. Boston, 1878. 
Whiteside, William B. The Boston Y.M.C.A. and Community Need: A Century's 

Evolution, 1851-1951. New York, 1951. 
Williamson, Joseph. "Condition of the Religious Denominations of Maine, at the 

Close of the Revolution." Collections of the Maine Historical Society 7(1876): 

Woods, Leonard. An Address Delivered on the Opening of the New Hall of the 

Medical School of Maine, February 21, 1862. Brunswick, 1862. 


Adams, George Eliashib, 28, 59, 82, 103, 
104-5, 109; called to First Parish Church, 
32; his "Boot and Shoe Display," 1 14 

Adams, Samuel, signs charter, 4 

Abbot, John, 11, 13, 16,23 

Abbott, John S.C., 82-83 

Allen, William (pres. 1820-32), 31, 38, 89, 
173 n. 56; removed and restored to office, 
61, 64; plans for new chapel, 63-65; 
resignation, 65 

Alpha Rho Upsilon, 148-49; resolution on 
chapel attendance, 157-58 

Amherst College, 52, 95, 108-9 

Anderson, Alice, 10 

Anderson, Rufus, 52 

Andover Theological Seminary, 35-36, 92, 
102, 109 

Appleton, Jesse (pres. 1807-19), 30-31, 
38-39, 49, 61; his lectures, 37-39, 59; pro- 
posal to name new chapel in his honor, 68 

Appleton, John, 65-66 

Apthorp, Harrison Otis, 86 

Athenaean Literary Society, 51, 60, 73, 124 

Ashby, Thompson Eldridge, 133 

Bailey, Winthrop, 30 

Bangor Theological Seminary, 35, 99-100, 

107, 110, 174 n. 5; proposed move to Bow- 

doin, 102-3 
Banister Hall, 79, 136 
Banister,, 79 
Baptists, 1, 5, 52, 74; in Brunswick, 20-21, 

175 n. 45 
Barr, Richard D., 166 
Beckwith, Robert K., 146 
Bell, Mrs. Harriet, 93 
Benevolent Society, 58-59 
Bermuda North, 163 
Blacks at Bowdoin, 128, 150 
Blanket Tax, 135, 151, 162 
Board of Commissioners for Foreign Mis- 

sions, 52 

Bond, Elias, 53 

Bonfires, 54-55 

Boody, Henry L., gifts to the College, 95-96, 

Booker, Alfred J., 116 

Booker, Ira P., 93 

Bowdoin Christian Association (B.C. A.), 
133, 135, 151-52, 154, 168; and racial 
questions, 147, 149-50; changes name to 
Bowdoin Interfaith Forum, 155, 161, 197 
n. 1; and self- study project, 156; resolution 
on chapel attendance, 158; demise, 162. 
See also Young Men's Christian Association 

Bowdoin Christian Fellowship, 166 

Bowdoin College, petitions for founding a 
college, 2-3; first members of the Boards, 5, 
35; charter, 4-5, 169 n. 11; lands, 5, 9; 
location of, 3-4, 9; laws, 13-14, 38-46, 159, 
170 n. 23; early admission requirements, 
14, 36, 170 n. 24;. early curriculum, 15-16, 
35-38; relations to First Parish, 21-33, 92, 
102, 103-5; students studying for the 
ministry, 5, 35-36, 52-53; and temperance, 
39-41, 55-56, 59-60; a "Christian College," 
5-7, 61-62, 102, 105, 118, 132-33, 136, 
151-53, 165, 192 n. 6, 197 ns. 108, 110; 
Declaration on relations with Congrega- 
tionalists, 75-77, 89, 181 n. 54; support of 
fund drives by Congregationalists, 74-78, 
99-100; and Congregational Conference, 
99-100; vesper services, 108-9, 159-61, 
165-67; music at, 119-22; courses in 
religion, 15-16, 139-40, 144-45, 164-65; 
religious preference of students, 128-29, 
135, 192 ns. 127, .128. See also Chapel en- 
tries; First Parish Church; Sunday services 

Bowdoin, James (governor of Massachusetts), 3 

Bowdoin, James (patron of the College), 3-4, 
10, 70; letter to Overseers, 4, 169 n. 10; 
estate, 67-69, 89 

Bowdoin Interfaith Forum (B.I.F.), 155-56, 
161. See also Bowdoin Christian Assoc. 


Religion at Bowdoin College: A History 

Boyd, George William, 42 

Bradbury, James Ware, 78 

Bridge, Horatio, 42 

Briggs, John Abner, 46 

Brown, Clark, 21,24 

Brown, Jerry W., 165 

Brown University, 13, 51-52, 108 

Browne, Tho. , 2 

Browne, William, 32 

Brunswick, college to be located in, 4, 9; 
religious divisions among early settlers, 
19-20; first meeting house, 19; separation 
of church and parish, 21; various churches 
organized, 175 n. 45. See also First Parish 

Burnett, Charles Theodore, 122, 139 

Byington, EzraHoyt, 114-15 

Caluvian Society, 28 

Cargill, James, 51 

Carnegie Foundation, 94, 97-98, 102, 105, 

Catholics, in early Maine, 1; at Bowdoin, 
127-29; and campus religious associations, 
127, 129, 155; services in chapel, 143, 194 
n. 55; sponsors weekly folk mass, 163, 168, 
199 n. 58. See also Newman Club 

Chamberlain, Joshua Lawrence (pres. 
1871-83), 35, 38, 114, 119; and fund drive, 
93, 100; biographical note, 110; inaugural 
address, 110-11, 188 n. 14; proposes 
changes at Bowdoin, 111-13; donates win- 
dow to First Parish Church, 115; supports 
military training at Bowdoin, 115; admits 
some women to classes, 128 

Chandler, PelegW.,46 

Chapel choir, 119-22, 166 

Chapel (old), built, 22-23, 171 n. 17; en- 
larged and moved, 23; bell installed and 
"stolen," 23, 44-45; library, 22, 63-66; 
belfry removed, 44-45; student depreda- 
tions, 45; organ provided, 57; art gallery, 
64-66; heating, 65, 171 n. 17; sold and 
removed, 78-79 

Chapel (new), 29, 62, 66; plans in 1825, 63; 
location, 64-65; ladies help raise funds, 
66-67; laying of cornerstone, 70-73; dedica- 
tion, 82-83; final cost, 83; proposal to name 
it Appleton Chapel, 68; proposal to call it 
King Chapel, 68-71, 73, 80-82, 183 n. 17; 
library, 63-66, 79, 83-85, 184 n. 94; art 
gallery, 63-66, 83, 84-85; heating, 84-85, 
115; panel pictures, 85-87, 184 n. 98; 
organ, 120-21, 136; chimes, 135-36, 161; 
flag pole incident, 140-42; problem of 
acoustics, 151, 154, 184 n. 103; front en- 

trance lights, 161; memorial cross, 152, 
154, 157; bell no longer used for classes, 
161; climbing of spires, 182 n. 68. See also 

Chapel services, hours of, 16, 108-9, 111-12, 
147, 151; student attendance, 16, 42-43, 
62, 107, 112-13, 115-19, 137-38, 140-42, 
147, 154, 157, 159-60; faculty attendance, 
16, 118, 137, 189 n. 61; evening prayers ex- 
cept on Sunday ended, 109, 112, 188 n. 19; 
Sunday morning prayers ended, 115-16; 
rush, 118; forums as an alternative, 159-61; 
convocation and first chapel service, 159; 
college sponsored program ended, 160-61. 
See also Sunday services; Vespers 

Chapman, Henry L., 87, 120, 125-26 

Charter, 4-5, 169 n. 11 

Chase, Stanley P., 149-50 

Cheever, Ebenezer, 51 

Chittim, Richard Leigh, 158 

Christian Association, 126, 143. See also 
Bowdoin Christian Association 

Christian Union, 57-58 

Christian Science Association, 168 

Christian Science, 99 

Church on the Hill, 33, 114, 132, 187 n. 75. 
See also First Parish Church 

Cilley, Jonathan, 43 

Civil War, 56, 84, 107, 167 

Clark, William, 42 

Cleaveland, Nehemiah, 10, 119 

Cleaveland, Parker, 15, 22, 24, 59 

Coffin, Ebenezer, 20-21 

Cogswell, Jonathan, 49 

Colby (Waterville) College, 44, 52, 74 

Coles, James Stacy (pres. 1952-67), 95, 152; 
inaugural address, 153; and chapel pro- 
gram, 153-54, 157-58; baccalaureate ser- 
vices, 155-56; resignation, 165 

College Preachers, 123-24, 136, 191 n. 97 

Collins, Mrs. Ebenr. (Susan), 77, 91, 93, 
123, 185 n. 27 

Collins Professorship, 37, 77, 82-83, 89, 97, 
105, 108-9, 112, 120, 125, 185 n. 1; found- 
ing and holders of the chair, 91-93; present 
use of funds, 94-95 

Committee on Religious Activities, 133, 135, 
139, 143, 154-55 

Congregationalists, number of ministers in 
Maine (1784), 1; ties with the College, 
21-24, 74-77, 89-90, 94-103; and Bowdoin 
fund drives, 74-78, 93, 99. See also First 
Parish Church 

Coons, Leroy W., 126 

Cornelius, Peter, 86 



Crocker, George Oliver, 120 

Crocker, Oliver, 120 

Cronham, Charles R., 136 

Cumberland Association of Ministers, 2 

Cummings, Asa, 65 

Cummings, Nathan, 86, 184 n. 99 

Curtis, Cyrus Hermann Kotzschmar, 136 

Daggett, Athern P., 167; acting president, 

Dartmouth College, 52, 95, 109 
Daveis, Clarke S., 29, 57, 65, 67, 70; address 

on laying the cornerstone of the new 

chapel, 73; address on dedication of the 

chapel, 82-83 
Davis, John, 42 

Day of Prayer for Colleges, 54, 123 
Deane, Samuel, 2 
Deems, Mervin M., 99 
Delano, Benjamin, 93 
Dennis, Rodney Gove, 51 
Divinity schools, founded, 35-36 
Dodge, Asa, 53 
Dole, Daniel, 53 
Dole of the Raxian, 60 
Dreer, Samuel H., 128 
Dunlap, Robert, first settled minister in 

Brunswick, 20 
Dunlap, Robert P., 65, 71, 73 
Dunning, Robert D., 26 
Dwight, William Theodore, 72, 83 

Edwards, Jonathan, 6 

Ellingwood, John Wallace, 77, 80 

Ellis, Samuel D., 42 

Enigma Society, 60 

Enteman, Willard Finley (pres. 1978-80), ix; 

inaugural address, 167; resignation, 168 
Episcopal Students Association, 143, 163. 

See also St. Paul's Episcopal Church 
Evans, George, 70, 75 

Fast days, 54-55 

Feeney, Daniel J., 155 

Fessenden, William Pitt, 78 

Field, Edward M., 119 

Files, Prof, and Mrs. GeorgeT., 123 

First Parish Church, covenant on basis of 
Congregationalism, 20; church and parish 
recognized as separate entities, 21; first 
meeting house burned down, 172 n. 19; 
erection of second meeting house, 23-26; 
obtains own bell, 27; dove as a weather- 
vane, 28; relations with the College, 21-33, 

92, 102-5; erection of third meeting house, 
28-30; vestry on School Street, 28, 30, 173 
n. 44; student galleries, 25-26, 28, 30, 32, 
43, 103-4, 114-15; college pew, 25-26, 30; 
and commencements, 24-30; suspends 
afternoon services, 109; organ in meeting 
house, 119; and College Preachers, 123-24; 
students conduct services, 162. See also 
Church on the Hill 

Flagpole incident, 140-42 

Flandrin, Hippolyte, 87 

Freshman handbook, 125-26, 135 

Forums, as alternatives to chapel services, 

Foster, Benjamin Browne, 54 

Fraternities, 60, 90, 126, 135, 143; and 
racial discrimination, 147-50, 156, 196 n. 

Fuller, Americus, 53 

Fuller, Melville Weston, 35 

Furber, Henry J., 87 

Gardiner, Robert Hallowell, 65, 67-70, 75 

Geoghegan, William Davidson, 158, 164-65 

Gerrish, Frederick H., 87 

Gerrish, William, 87 

Gibbons Club, 127-28 

Gillett, Gordon E., 143 

Glee Club, 60, 119, 121, 162 

Goodenow, Daniel, 65 

Goodrich, Chauncey W., 143 

Goodwin, Ichabod, 54 

Greason, Arthur LeRoy (pres. 1981-), ix; ap- 
pointed dean of students, 157; and chapel 
requirement, 157-58; appointed acting 
president, 168; elected president, 168 

Greene, Joseph K., 53 

Hale, Mrs. Sarah W., 79 

Hamilton College, 109 

Hamlin, Cyrus, 49, 53, 57 

Hancock, John, 3-4 

Hanley, Daniel Francis, 167 

Harris, Samuel (pres. 1867-71), 38; in- 
augural address, 107-8, 187 n. 57; and 
denominational control, 100; ending of 
evening prayers, 109-10; resignation, 110 

Harvard University, 2, 6-7, 10-11, 13, 52, 
74, 85, 108-9, 126; Divinity School, 36, 167 

Hatch, Louis C, 58 

Hawthorne, Nathaniel, 43, 179 n. 72 

Hillel Foundation, 164 

Hitchcock, Roswell Dwight, 82*83, 92-93 

Hiwale, AnandSidola, 52-53, 126 


Religion at Bowdoin College: A History 

Howell, Roger, Jr. (pres. 1969-78), 
biographical note, 165; inaugural address, 
165; resignation, 167 

Hutchins, Charles C, 120 

Hyde, William DeWitt (pres. 1885-1917), 
36-39, 116-21, 128, 136, 152; inaugural ad- 
dress, 36, 100-2; his "Offer of the College," 
33, 151, 153, 165; comments on President 
Woods, 89-90; Carnegie pension plan, 94, 
98; support of the Y.M.C.A., 93-94, 
125-26; and denominational control, 
100-2; as a speaker, 116, 122; and College 
Preachers, 123-24; death, 131 

Interfaith Council, 162-64 

Jaegers, 54 

Jenks, William, 14 

Jews, 128-29, 147-50, 196 n. 84, 197 n. 18; 
and the Y.M.C.A., 129; and the B.C. A., 
129, 164; Jewish Association, 164, 168. See 
also Fraternities 

Johnson, Alfred, 3, 65 

Johnson, E.D., 125 

Jump, Herbert A., 117, 124, 126 

Kahili, J. B.,87 

Keep, John, 31 

Kendrick, Nathaniel C, 151, 157-58 

King, James C, 80 

King, General William, 65; gift to the Col- 
lege, 68-73, 80-81; chapel no longer to be 
known as King Chapel, 82; death, 81 

King, Mrs. William (Anna N.), 68-69, 81-82 

Kisman, JohnD., 65 

Kotzschmar, Hermann, 121 

Lane Seminary, 92 

Langley, Miles Erskine, 126 

Lathrop, Francis, 87 

Lawrence, Amos, 68 

Lawrence, Mrs. Amos, 77 

Lee, Shepard, 164 

Leith, Eaton, 158 

Library, in chapel, 22, 63-65, 79, 83, 85, 

184 n. 94 
Lightfoot, Robert H., 145 
Lincoln, Charles S. F., 53 
Lincoln, Isaac, 71 
Lincoln, JohnD., 87 
Little, George Thomas, 88, 110, 116 
Locke, John, 6 
Lockhart Society, 57, 119 
Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth, 43; religious 

affiliation, 57, 173 n. 65 

Longfellow, Stephen, 43 
Longley, James B., 148 
Lutherans, at Waldoboro, 1 

McArthur, Arthur, 42 

McConaughy, James Lukens, 126-27, 139 

MacCormick, Austin H., 133, 139 

Mclntire, Glenn Ronello, 95 

McKeen, Joseph (pres. 1802-07), 61; elected 
president, 9; biographical sketch, 9-11; in- 
augural address, 11-13; and college laws, 
13-14; subjects taught, 15; chapel services, 
16; and erection of the first chapel, 22; and 
First Parish, 21,23-24, 30 

McKeen, Joseph (treasurer), 61, 67 

McLean, D. D., 133 

Madison, Arthur A., 128 

Maine Hall, 23,49, 65 

Maine Historical Society, 83 

Maine Missionary Society, 121 

Marrett, Miss Edna T. , 87 

Masonic lodge, laying of chapel cornerstone, 

Massachusetts General Court, and Bowdoin 
charter, 1-4 

Massachusetts Hall, 22, 24, 63-64; first 
known as College House, 9; named, 1 1 ; bell 
moved, 27, 172 n. 34 

Mead, Asa, 31-32 

Means, Robert, 42 

Medical school, 59, 78-79, 87, 108 

Melcher, Samuel, and first chapel, 22-23, 
171 n. 17; builds second meeting house, 24; 
and second chapel, 64, 79 

Methodists, in early Maine, 1; church in 
Brunswick, 175 n. 45 

Middlebury College, 51-52 

Miller, John, 30 

Millet, Samuel, 42 

Ministerial scholarships, 98-99 

Missionary Society of Inquiry, 57 

Morison, Samuel Eliot, 6 

Mueller, Mr. (artist), 86 

Munson, Samuel, 53 

Nelson, Mrs. Elizabeth M., 93 

Newell, William Stark, 161 

Newman Club, 154-55, 162-64; sponsors 
Bermuda North project, 163-64, 168; Proj- 
ect Babe, 168; folk mass, 163, 168, 199 n. 

Newman, Samuel Phillips, 61 

Newport, Sir Francis, 49 

Nixon, Paul, appointed dean, 131-32; and 
chapel attendance, 142-43; comment on 



religious forums, 194 n. 59 
Noyes, Daniel J., 91 

Otto, Charles, 86 

Pacific Congregational Seminary, 102 
Packard, Alpheus Spring, 11, 54, 56, 68, 

120, 125; appointed Collins Professor, 93; 

memorial window in First Parish Church, 

105; on acoustics in chapel, 184 n. 103 
Packard, C, 28 
Palmer, Warren, 143 
Parker, Isaac, 35 
Payson, Edward Payson, 135-36 
Payson, William Martin, 135-36 
Pejepscot Proprietors, 19-20 
Perry, Mrs. William, 87 
Peucinian Society, 27, 51, 60, 73, 124 
Phillips Andover Academy, 10, 97 
Phillips, James S., 53 
Phrenology Society, 60 
Pierce, Franklin, 43 
Pierce, Josiah, 78 
Poor, Henry V., 101-2 
Porter, Benjamin J., 24 
Porter, Mrs. Benjamin J., 80 
Porter, David R., 126 
Pratt, Phineas, 51 
Praying Society (Circle), 50-57, 59, 112, 115, 

162; society becomes Praying Circle, 55; 

Circle becomes Y.M.C. A., 124 
Prentiss, George Lewis, 91 
Presbyterians, 9-10, 52, 97; in early Maine, 

1; in early Brunswick, 19-20 
Princeton University, 52 

Quakers, 1,43 

Religion courses in the curriculum, 15-16, 

139-40, 143-45, 164-65 
Religious Forum, 143-44, 155-56, 195 n. 59 
Religious preference of students, 128-29, 

135, 192 ns. 127, 128 
Richardson, William, 65 
Robert College, 53 

Roberts, Charles P., 43-44, 58, 60, 72 
Roberts, Gary R., 165-66 
Rothlisberger, RodneyJ., 166 
Russell, Henry G., 145 
Ruffin, Bernard C, III, 166 
Russwurm, John Brown, 128 

St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 95, 113, 132, 

143, 166, 175 n. 45 
Savage, William T., 98 

Scholarships with religious preferences, 

Schrocder, John Charles, 145 

Scott, Roderick, 126 

Self-study project, 156 

Seniors' Last Chapel, 122-23, 167 

Sewall,JothamB., 114 

Sheats, John E., 166 

Shepley, Ether, 37, 91 

Sills, Kenneth Charles Morton (pres. 
1918-52), 5, 38, 58, 153, 163; and religious 
preferences of students, 129, 135; ap- 
pointed dean, 131; elected president, 131; 
a leading Episcopalian, 132; inaugural ad- 
dress, 132; opposition to denominational 
clubs on campus, 135, 154, 193 n. 13; as a 
chapel speaker, 136, 138; appoints commit- 
tee to study needs of the College, 137-38; on 
chapel services, 138-39; and courses in 
religion, 139-40, 143-44; and chapel atten- 
dance, 140-42, 147, 151; on church hymns, 
146; and Armistice Day observances, 167; 
Bowdoin as a "Christian College," 132-33, 
136, 151-52, 193 n. 6 

Sills, Mrs. Kenneth (Edith Lansing), 153 

Smith, Charles Henry (Cosine Smith), 41, 

Smyth, Egbert C, 49, 51, 56, 59; appointed 
Collins Professor, 92; and attendance at 
Sunday afternoon services, 108; reports on 
attendance at Sunday services, 113 

Smyth, William, 44, 46, 54, 82; memorial 
window in First Parish Church, 105 

Snell, Charles, 43 

Snow, Benjamin Galen, 53 

Social Gospel, 122 

Southgate, Frederic, 42, 51 

Southgate, Horatio, 53 

Sparks, Jared, 86 

Staley, Ronald, 166 

Stanwood, David, 42 

Stanwood, William, 26 

State of Maine scholarships, 58 

Stendahl, Kristen, 167 

Stevens, Oliver Crocker, 120 

Stockbridge, Wm. H., 121 

Stone Professorship, 94, 97 

Stone, Mrs. Valeria L., 97 

Stone, William, 43 

Storer, Bellamy, 85 

Storer, Seth, 42 

Story, Joseph, 61 

Stowe, Calvin Ellis, 54, 56, 61-'62; appointed 
Collins Professor, 92 

Stowe, Mrs. Calvin E. (Harriet Beecher), 92 


Religion at Bowdoin College: A History 

Student activities fees, 162-63. See also 

Blanket Tax 
Student Religious Liberals, 163-64 
Sunday services, student attendance, 17, 
32-33, 42-43, 62, 107-9, 111-16; end of 
compulsory attendance, 117; vespers, 109, 
112, 146, 151, 154, 159, 165-67. See also 
First Parish Church, student galleries 

Tallman Professors, 139, 156, 195n. 72 

Tappan, Benjamin, 91 

Taylor, Burton Wakeman, 158 

Taylor, Charles C, 119 

Temperance Society of the Maine Medical 

School, 59 
Thacher, Josiah, 2 
Theological Society, 49-51, 57, 59 
Thompson, AbnerB., 71 
ThorndikeClub, 147-48, 196 n. 83 
Thorndike, George, 16 
Thorndike Oak, 16 
Tiemer, Mrs. Paul, 161 
Tiliotson, Frederic E. T., 146-47 
Titian's Danae, 85-86, 184 n. 99 
Trinity College, 74 
True, I. R., 70 

Unitarian-Universalist Association, 163 

Unitarians, 1, 35, 74, 78, 113; Unitarian 
Society, 57, 175 n. 45 

Universalist Church, 126, 175 n. 45 

Union College, 52, 109 

Union Theological Seminary, 92, 102, 109 

Upjohn, Richard, 28, 67-70, 74, 79-80; 
payments to, 182 n. 73. See also Chapel 

Upham, Thomas C, 32, 44, 82; and the 
Declaration on relations to Congregation- 
alism, 73-74; gifts to the College, 77, 91, 
183 n. 77; resignation, 108 

Vinton, Frederic, 87 

Vesper services, 108-9, 146, 151, 159-60, 

165-67. See also College Preachers 
"Virtue and Piety," 76, 132, 153, 165; as 

mentioned in charter, 5; Jonathan Edwards 

on, 6; John Locke on, 6 

Walker gallery, 79, 84; Walker Art 

Building, 79 
Walker, Theophilus W., 79 
Wass, Edward Haines, 122, 136 
Wesleyan University, 12, 140 
Wheeler, Crosby H., 53 
Wheeler, Gervase, 79, 182 n. 69 

Widgery, Alban Gregory, 139 

Wilde, William Cobb, 42 

Wilder, Philip Sawyer, 158, 162, 195 n. 62 

Willard, Joseph, 10 

William and Mary College, 52 

Williams College, 13, 52, 140 

Williams, Samuel, 10 

Williams, Simon, 10 

Wilson, Jeffrey, 167 

Winkley, Henry, 96-97, 186 n. 39 

Winkley Professorship, 94, 96-97, 131 

Winthrop, proposed college, 2 

Wise, John, 42 

Wood, Henry, 42 

Woodruff, Frank Edward, 93 

Woods, Leonard (pres. 1839-66), 28, 38, 59, 
61, 91; elected president, 65, 89; and new 
chapel, 65-73, 77, 80-82, 85-86; as a 
disciplinarian, 43, 89-90; and denomina- 
tionalism, 100 

Works, David A., 148 

World War I, 126, 132-33 

World War II, 129, 147-48 

Yale University, 13, 52, 74, 95, 108-9/145 
Young Men's Christian Association 
(Y.M.C.A.), 94, 119, 129, 168; founded at 
Bowdoin, 57, 124; period of greatest activ- 
ity, 124-27, 133-34; Bowdoin Y.M.C.A. 
song, 134; becomes known as Bowdoin 
Christian Association, 134. See also 
Bowdoin Christian Association 

Ernst Christian Helmreich, Thomas Bracket* 
Reed Professor of History and Political Science Emeritus, was born 
in Crescent City, Illinois, the son of a Lutheran minister. He holds 
degrees in history from the University of Illinois and Harvard 
University and taught at Purdue University and Radcliffe College 
before joining the Bowdoin faculty in 1931. He is the author of 
numerous books and articles on religion and twentieth-century 
European history, among them The German Churches under 
Hitler: Background, Struggle, and Epilogue, Religious Education 
in German Schools: An Historical Approach, and Religion in 
Maine Schools: An Historical Approach. During the forty-one years 
he taught at Bowdoin, Dr. Helmreich was a ..frequent speaker at 
chapel services, a perennial member of the Committee on Religious 
Affairs, and adviser from 1937 to 1946 to the Thorndike Club, the 
organization of non-fr eternity men. Dr. Helmreich retired from the 
Bowdoin faculty in 1972 and lives in Brunswick with his wife, 
Louise Roberts Helmreich, who holds a Ph.D. in history from Har- 
vard University and has been engaged with local histoiy.